Socials Studies Post #2 Sourcing a Significant Personal Object

fullsizerender-1An object that is significant to me, is my family’s totem pole. It was created for my great grandfather, when he stepped down from the position of chief of the Tsim Tsian tribe. The carvers who created it for him, spent years perfecting each animals expression. The animals on the totem pole, highlight spiritual parts of the tribe, and his leading style. The totem pole has a small note attached to it which is from various tribe members. They wrote in order to thank my great grandfather for his service, and for the respect he treated them with. I would consider this a primary source, as the letter is written directly from the people.

My great great grandfather was a caucasian man, who worked for the government. His mission, was basically to keep the indigenous people “in line” and watch over them. He treated the people with a great amount of respect however, and was well appreciated. When his son was born, the son was ceremonially elected as the Tsim
Tsian chief. He didn’t really take on the same responsibilities that a chief would, but that was his title. When he turned nineteen, my great grandfather went to the first world war, and had to step down from his position. When he arrived back from the war, unharmed, he was gifted the totem pole and the letter. The people appreciated my great granddad so much, because it wasn’t very common to be treated respectfully, by a caucasian person back then. The racism of the time, made him look like a saint, for merely treating the people with dignity.

What’s interesting about the totem pole and letter, is that the letter describes each animal, but never clearly says exactly who carved it, or what each animal means. Historians could guess, but never know ffullsizerenderor sure. My great uncle tried to recall to me what each animal meant, but even he couldn’t clearly remember, since his father told him when he was very young. This proves how much can be lost over time, in regards to history.

The creators of the totem pole were all part of the Tsim Tsian tribe, however I don’t know who they were individually, as their names aren’t ever acknowledged in the letter. They created the totem pole out of graciousness, and utter thanks.

I don’t personally know very much about Totem poles, so it alone doesn’t truly share the story of my great grandfather with me. The letter however, clarifies the kind of person my great grandfather was, as I never met him. I wish that I knew what each individual animal means. I also wish I knew what my great granddad’s relationship with these people was. All I know really, is his technical position. Unfortunately he died when he was very young, so his kids didn’t grow up hearing his stories. They therefore, can’t really be considered even secondary sources. So unfortunately, this totem pole represents a piece of history which has been lost in the fold of time, and my family’s memory loss.

Social Studies post #1: Historical Perspectives

How can we better understand the people of the past?

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIOne of the most important aspects of understanding the actions of the past, is to try and comprehend the reasoning behind those actions. In order to properly view the choices which historical figures have made, we must put ourselves in a situation where we might be inclined to make the same choices. Miranda Flicker believed that, “The proper standards by which to judge people are the best standards that were available to them at the time” in order to remove our personal bias. It would be interesting as a class to fully delve into the idea that every person of the past, had a different thought process, and therefore made different decisions. A person’s choices, are also directly influenced from their past experiences, and the environment they grew up in. We must understand that some of our current actions, may be considered immoral in the future, while they are completely acceptable right now. People of the past didn’t have the ability to condescend their actions, so we shouldn’t blame them for it. Instead, we should pay attention to the resources, and ideas circulating through the past, and try to at least sympathize with their judgements. In order to fully discern a decision made in the past, we must take into account the people behind the choices.

In-depth week #5

1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

My mentor, Señora Galliford is really good at understanding the questions which I ask, and knowing exactly where I want to go with them, which is unique from last year. With my last in-depth, a lot more clarifying questions had to be asked, as Slam poetry is more subjective than Spanish. This year our meetings are super efficient, while still informative and enjoyable.

What learning challenges emerged?

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

As it goes with new relationships, there is always a period of time designated for adjusting to each other, and getting used to seeing the other person on a regular basis. I wouldn’t say that my mentor and I have experienced any “learning challenges” but more just understanding how the other person works, and trying to alter our own perceptions of the world to fit that. I am very planned and organized, but my mentor likes spontaneity and spur of the moment ideas. As a teacher, Señora Galliford wants to teach me the lessons based on every question I ask, but I’m assuming that as this project progresses more, I will take the reign, and probably just ask for resources and occasional questions. Already I am holding myself accountable in this manner, by going through everything I learn at the meetings, by myself. I come to the next meeting with extension questions to the previous meeting, as well as lists of resources which I have found useful in my continued learning.

4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

  1. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

Since Señora Galliford hasn’t spoken Spanish at a higher level, for a number of years, she is worried that she won’t be able to answer a lot of my questions. Because I haven’t gotten to an advanced level yet, she has understood all of my questions, or just needed a quick refresher. However, I will probably be learning higher level concepts which she isn’t super confident with, by the end of the year. Señora Galliford, however is looking forward to the challenge, as she wants to be fluent again, she just hasn’t taught grade eleven and twelve Spanish courses in a long time. I think that learning alongside my mentor is important, so that it is less of a teacher-student relationship. Combined, we both have a lot of external resources who we can look to if need be.

Status Report:

I have been meeting with my mentor every week now, as it is convenient to meet, and I feel that I am gaining a lot from the meetings. By the end of this weekend, I will have finished unit two on Rosetta Stone, on top of some work on Duolingo, and I also completed my first Spanish research session this week. I wanted to learn more about the effect that certain Latinos have had on modern culture and media. I did some research on actress, Gina Rodriguez, and learnt a TON. During this weeks meeting, my main question was clarifying the difference between the Spanish words tú, tus, su and sus which as you may have guessed have very similar meanings. The spark notes, is that they all translate to “your” in English, but are used in different contexts, depending on how many items a person has.

Statuse Reporte en Español:

Yo miro mi mentor todo la semana ahora, es facíl y yo feel que yo mucho entonces. La fin de semana, mi “Rosetta Stone” units son finito. Yo estoy estudiando “Duolingo” y “estudiar español . com”. Yo finito mi primera español research projet está semana tambien. Yo quiero entonce mas about Latinos effect que tele y computadora de hoy society. Yo did research que la actriz Gina Rodriguez y entones mas. Está semana, mi primera question es “que es la difference entre words de español, tú, tus, su, y sus?” La mismo en ingles. They mean “your” pero are usar en diferente contexts depending on cuantos itemes un persona tiene.

In-depth has truly begun, and I’m loving it

So today, I finally had my first mentor meeting! We didn’t spend much time working on actual Spanish, since it is our first meeting, and we were more occupied with figuring out how this project will work. However, I did get a few questions answered, regarding my Spanish lessons that I’ve been doing at home. We also talked a bit, so that we could learn more about each other, since there isn’t much time for student-teacher relationships in the regular classroom setting. Señora Galliford actually did all of her Spanish learning in schools in our district, plus university. She loved speaking Spanish in school, because she gained a lot of confidence by being a quick learner. Just like me, she was originally drawn to Spanish because of the way it sounded, and appreciates it even more now, after getting the chance to speak with lots of native speakers. She likes the minimal structure (unlike in French) and Spanish’s focus on having real life conversations even at a basic level. She even mentioned that she might be able to set me up for a conversation, later on in the project, with some of the Spanish exchange students at our school. I love the way that my last year mentor, and even Señora Galliford already, have made our mentor meetings a fun space. They are willing to share anecdotes of their past experiences, which I really appreciate, and they are good at listening to me when I’m expressing areas of difficulty, to aid my learning and growth in the future. Unfortunately, this post isn’t in Spanish, but the next one is where I will begin this process, using mostly Spanish, with some English words if I don’t know, or am unable to find the translation. There is also a possibility of me filming my future posts, as a vlog, so that I can really work on my pronunciation, and watch my progress at the end of in-depth.

¡Hasta luego!

See you later!

Juliet: just a kid taking a personality test to sort things out

For those of you who don’t know, I have used the 16 personalities test, to discover how Juliet from Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, might score. The test assesses a personality, and gives a percentage, rating the person with one of the two letters for each category. The letters, and what they stand for are listed below.

I (Introverted)    VS   E (Extroverted)

S (obServant)   VS   N (iNtuitive)

T (Thinking)      VS   F (Feeling)

P (Prospecting) VS   J (Judging)

In Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Juliet’s personality type has been widely debated. From her reserved attitude, to pretending to be dead for a boy she’s known for mere days, Juliet is certainly an INFP personality type in my opinion. She has a philosophical outlook on life, questioning “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” (2.2 43) proves that she has an intuitive personality, as well as is extremely introverted; she keeps her thoughts to herself until they are well-developed. Juliet tries to showcase herself as independent to Romeo when she asks him to “[…] trust [her, she’ll] prove more true than those that have more cunning to be strange” (2.2 100). She is a feeling person, because she is asking Romeo for his acceptance despite their houses ongoing grudge, and she is allowing this to guide her towards the more prospective lifestyle which Romeo leads. Juliet is extremely logical and thoughtful, but is influenced by the people around her to showcase her personality in different ways, which alters the way different readers perceive her character.

Romeo and Juliet – act two critical response

In a response to Jo Ledingham’s theatre review of Bard on the beach, Jindra Kulich claims that the love which Romeo and Juliet possess is not “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love,’” but rather that the teens are experiencing real love, because they are considered adults in the Elizabethan era. I do agree, that Romeo and Juliet’s love should be taken with the same seriousness that adults are today, however, I don’t think that anyone can really get away with getting married the day after they met. Juliet’s, “ears have not yet drunk a hundred words [of Romeo’s creation], yet [she knows] the sound.” implying that she barely knows Romeo, but is still willing to sacrifice everything she owns, for him (Act 2 Scene 2 58-59). I have never known a couple who experienced ‘love at first sight,’ which probably reaffirms my idea that it is not possible. Even people of fifty years in modern time, would likely be considered immature and blinded, if they married the day after meeting. In this regard, I do believe that their brains, since not completely developed, are urging them to make irrational decisions. It is also important to account for the fact that in the Elizabethan era, very few people made it to thirty years; therefore the percentage of time they have for everything in their lives is nearly a third of what we have now. It is apparent that Juliet is being pressured to marry, from her mother “[In] Verona, ladies of esteem, are made already mothers” this shows why Juliet may feel the need to find a husband as soon as possible. Despite her parents denial of Montague and Capulet love, Juliet feels that her parents, specifically her mother, would be more accepting if she married Romeo sooner rather than later, so that she doesn’t waste her life away. Thus, we should take Romeo and Juliet’s love with the same respect that we do as adults nowadays, but also understand that they are even more pressured for time. This leads us to believe that Romeo and Juliet do indeed, withhold true love, but that it could still blossom a bit more before they marry each other.


Jindra Kulich claims that Romeo and Juliet’s love for each other should be considered in the same way as that of two adults in the modern day, because that is how they were regarded in the Elizabethan era. It is true that a person was considered of age to consent much earlier, in the era which Romeo and Juliet was written. As lays out, with a parents consent, girls were considered legal to marry at just twelve years old, and boys at 14. Most people however, didn’t get married until the female was at least 18, and the man 22. In rich families, marriage was proposed earlier, as the man already had the money which would bring the couple through life. Because of this, Romeo and Juliet were still children, but they were being pressured to get married, which led to their marriage. We should still remember that as teens, our pre frontal lobes are not entirely developed, which impedes our ability to make good decisions. Although Romeo and Juliet are of the age to get married, their parents did not sign off on it, nor should they be able to make such an important decision in the matter of hours. As states, “There is no sign of any divorces during the Elizabethan times” which means that Romeo and Juliet are signing to live as one for the rest of their lives.



In-depth, here we go!

Guess what? In depth is starting again! As you may recall, last year I studied the art of SLAM poetry, which left me craving more of this project. Well its back, and for a long time I was unsure of what I wanted to study. I have figured it out, and have decided to study Spanish. Over my Christmas break, I visited the beautiful country of Mexico, and acted as my family’s amateur tour guide. I failed. I thought that my Spanish skills were somewhat proficient, but once the pressure of speaking to people with thick accents, at top speeds, kicked in, I was useless. My conjugation was off, I was slow, and I kept having to ask people to write things down, as I can read better than I can speak. Since I have always wanted to study Spanish in university, and travel once I graduate, I figured that the in-depth project would be the perfect learning environment for the culmination of my language skills. Last year I completed my first year of Spanish in school, and am currently taking intro 11 online. This allows me plenty of resources, to make this project as fun, and stimulating as it was last year. I will probably consult with many Spanish speakers on a regular basis, however, I have found one person who I can call my mentor. Last year, Señora Galliford taught me grade nine Spanish, and I consult her occasionally when I have questions about the Spanish I am learning. I talked to her, and she agreed to be my mentor. She will help me with my pronunciation, speed while speaking Spanish, and she has also agreed to help me write my biweekly blogposts, IN SPANISH! I will have an English translation, (don’t worry non-spanish speakers), but this will help me see the growth that has occurred in my language skills, throughout the course of this project. I also obtained several contacts during my trip, who agreed to help me with the project, by allowing me to phone them occasionally, to practice speaking to a native Spanish speaker. Since I know the stress that these phone calls will provide me, I plan on doing three throughout my project. Speaking will be the focus of this project, as writing is usually easier, but not very useful while travelling. Obviously not much has happened in the means of process so far, as I am just beginning my project. Over the reading break I plan on completing one research session, and ideally one of the units on Rosetta Stone, but that is likely pushing it a bit too far. As for my plans for the project on he whole: I hope to complete two Duolingo sessions every week, since there are seventy in total. That will leave me a few weeks before the final project, to prepare my presentation in the time usually designated to Duolingo. I will also do two grammar lessons every week on, as they have a similar number of lessons as Duolingo. Altogether, these two forums will amount to approximately an hour a week. However, I would also like to do one unit on Rosetta Stone every two weeks. Each unit requires ten hours or more, so I will have my hands full. I don’t think I will mind putting in six hours a week or more, as this is a project of passion, and I am excited to get started. So, let’s begin the road of conjugation and present participles, and hope that one day fluency is attainable!

Check back in two weeks for an update on how my reading break plans worked out, or didn’t… Wish me luck!

Zip document of learning number 4

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself at the start of your inquiry?

I would tell myself to slow down, and stop being so ambitious. I have spent so long editing these stories, that I had to take a week long break during winter break, from zip, so that I could get the words out of my head. Obviously there are still a lot of errors in the stories, but I had no interest in dealing with them all, when I had the stories memorized word by word. I stopped seeing my own mistakes, and simply reciting the stories in my head. Setting goals are important, but I need to stop wearing myself out with the goals that I set, for it is not beneficial in the long run. Today, will be the first time I look at the stories in over a week, so hopefully my eyes will be refreshed. I have also refrained from having peers edit the stories, as I am taking what Mr. Morris said on the last day of school, to heart. I am worried that if they edit it for more than grammatical, and spelling errors, it will be considered plagiarism, which I do not want to get into. In TALONS we have habits of changing sentence structure and style on our peers work, because we want them to succeed, but there is a thin line between helping and hindering here. I only had people who I trusted to edit the stories without changing everything, edit them; and I was extremely critical of the edits I received, petrified they would change too much. Hopefully, this turns out alright.

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!