Final PLP Project Ever, Part 1: Back in Time
Sunday May 24th 2020, 8:21 pm
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So, this is it. After 5 years of creation, reflection, revision, and blog posts, this is my last ever Humanities project in the Performance Learning Program. 98 blog posts so far, 5 grades, countless units, and here we are. I don’t want to say it’s a relief, but it is definitely satisfying. Anyways, on to the project…

The whole goal of the school system that I am mere inches from completing is to take children and assist them in becoming ‘Educated and empowered citizens.’ What does that mean? Great question. It’s basically a really fancy cut-out from a longwinded letter saying that throughout a students journey through the education system they become more prepared individuals for todays world. Myself and the rest of the grade 12 students are now all at that point. Now we are those citizens, we’re let loose in the world to change it. Hopefully for the better. That’s what this project is about. About fighting the power. It’s called; Fight the Power.

The first mini-assignment in this unit is actually a repeat. From grade 9, the ‘Who’s at my Table’ role models assignment. Check out my tragic grade 9 writing and questionable role models below.

My Role Models

If it wasn’t apparent, that was more than 3 years ago and a lot has changed in my life and the world since. So, to begin the last PLP project in which we speak to how we will take our learnings in school and ‘Fight the Power’ with them, why not update who inspires us and builds us to who we are. This time we also included a mission statement, a few words that embody what inspires and drives us. In no particular order, here we go. Who’s at my table, Part 2

Mike Darbyshire

Mike is without a doubt the person who has influenced me most as a person throughout my life. (Aside from my immediate family). Mike is a multi-time Canadian SUP champion, he basically wrote the book on Canadian SUP, an athlete at the 2019 Pan-Am games, the 2016 ISA SUP World Championships, the founder of the Deep Cove Advanced Race Team (where I learned my sport), and so many more things I could list. What’s more important is what this all means to me. I first met Mike when I was 12. My brother has just started paddling. At the time I was still playing high level hockey and was still intimidated by this new sport. Mike welcomed me in, and in 2015 he created a youth racing team that I joined. In 2018 he hired me at Deep Cove Kayak, where he is the Manager. Since then Mike has taught me everything I know about SUP, water sports in general, class, professionalism, commitment, training, and just about any other trait I have today. He inspired and taught it all. On the left is a picture of him (left) talking to me in Tofino. That weekend was the time he taught me how to SUP surf. On the left is Mike (who is a little smaller compared to me now…), my brother Evan and me. This was taken in 2019 after we went 1-2-3 on the podium for the Men’s National SUP Championship. I’m so proud to call Mike a mentor and friend, he built the world I have thrived in and I am so honoured to share podiums with him. (Even if he is on top of those podiums).

Lincoln Dews

Lincoln Dews is a multi-time SUP racing world champion, a professional waterman, super, sailor, and a man who truly pushes the boundaries of water sport around the world. He constantly is stepping away from what a single disciplinary athlete is, changing the landscape of any sport he is involved with by performing at impressive levels, but also with class. Lincoln and I are both a part of team Blackfish Paddles and because of this, in 2019 I was able to spend close to a month training with him, competing against him, and getting to know him and his lifestyle. What inspires me most about Lincoln is not his numerous titles and achievements, it is his character. He is so dedicated to all of his sports, training harder than any athlete I’ve ever seen in any sport, yet he still does it with a smile on his face, a welcoming attitude to anyone, and an open mind to change of competitions, training, team, anything. He balances it all perfectly. When I first met him he was training my brother and I from Australia while still finishing a degree in recreation and athletic education! He is an athlete that I idolize and admire, but spending time and getting to know his commitment and character, that is what has been truly inspirational to me as an athlete, a student, and a person.

Tinker Hatfield

Tinker Hatfield is a shoe designer for Nike. He is most famous for designing Michael Jordan’s, Air Jordans model 3-15, as well as the Air Max 1, the Air Mag from Back to the Future, and a catalogue of other models. This may seem like an odd choice, I know. Yes, I do see his work as revolutionary, and if he hadn’t had done what he did, the world’s biggest sports brand would not be what it is. What inspires me about Tinker is his eye for change, and motivation to follow what you believe will better others. He designed footwear with the athletes in mind, but also with design as he come from an architectural background. He also designed the first ever self-lacing shoe system, the Nike Adapt. He continues to be a pioneer. What inspires me about him is his constant ability and motivation to create change. By simply putting an air bubble in a shoe, some would argue he jump started the whole brand Nike. He is a person who uses his talents to benefit others and change the world. That, is inspirational to me, and millions around the world. I can only speak so much about his journey, character, and attitude. I would highly recommend this documentary Netflix did on him and his story. It will emphasize my point.

Joe Santagato

Joe Santagato has inspired and shaped me in two ways. His content has helped me by making me laugh every time I listen or watch, and his business I have seen grow has been inspirational to me, who’s dream is to one day start my own. I started watching his YouTube Channel back in probably 2015. originally I watched simply because I enjoyed watching a loud funny man from New York make jokes. But over time he started to build. He started his own company, Santagato Studios and currently that company produces: 4 podcasts, available in video or audio, content on 2 YouTube channels as well as merchandise. What inspires me about Joe is similar to what inspires him. His first and biggest podcast is called The Basement Yard because it was started in his moms basement. He built a brand and company from nothing. I admire that, someone who uses the many platforms that exist today and build a brand. A brand that foundations are inspiring, yet content is comedy. I have actually been inspired by Joe before, for my grade 10 winter exhibition project I referenced him in my post about creating my project.

Winter Exhibition 2017

Khary Durgans

Last but definitely not least is Khary Drugans, known in the music industry as simply Khary. I started listening to his music in 2016 when he released his album called Intern AquariumOn the album, and to this day, he uses the metaphor of the “Intern” to describe himself and other humble and hardworking individuals who work for satisfaction and goals rather than monetary value. And the “Intern Aquarium” being the way that society attempts to trap and limit these people. Since 2016 his music has been a staple in my library. Even though he hasn’t broken onto the mainstream he has continued at his craft, keeping the same style his fans like me love, and continuing to work for self satisfaction and goals. I have been shaped by his words in his music, and his attitude towards everything. I would recommend his music to anyone, and as I write this post I am currently listening to his new single Satellites & Rearview Mirrors. I would recommend it.


So what connects all of these people? Individual image and personal brands that inspire others. A core idea that I hold close to me for today and the future. Whether it’s because they start teams that teach me the my best sport, change the world of that sport, change the world of shoes, redefine what a brand can be and be from, or even write music and an image about that idea. All of these people in their individual way have shaped me to become who I am today, as well as who I want to be in the future professionally and personally.

The New Normal
Friday May 15th 2020, 3:35 pm
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Normally for each project we’ll be connecting ideas. Usually from a historical event or series of events, and seeing how they can connect to today in order to gain a deeper understanding of what society can learn today from events of the past. By this point, term 3 of grade 12, that’s pretty much routine. So this project, The New Normal, was a big change.
I’ll explain why, then show the product. So for this project we were put into novel study groups. I was with Alex, Willa, and Isobel. We were studying the book Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. Our task was to create a presentation answering the driving question: How do literary dystopias help us understand what is happening now? Here is our Keynote…
See Keynote Here

Station Eleven

So the first topic of that novel was the novel Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. We read this book over a period of 3 weeks. Every week we would meet in a zoom meeting with the class, as well as smaller groups that consisted of the 4 people who were all reading the same novel. Personally when I began reading this novel I was fascinated by the idea of it.  It’s a post-apocalyptic dystopia caused by a disease driven pandemic. That’s very like what we’re experiencing today. As the book continued though I lost that connection and interest. The constant jumping from character to character and all over the timeline made it a chore to read and hard to finish. Also, the ending was not satijsfactory at all. I made notes for each discussion, but I found the most interesting thing I did though, something that helped drive our answer to the driving question was find this article. Here. It is an article from Time about is,olating and how that effects people.

Dystopian Journals

The other thing we were doing weekly was our dystopian journals. These were weekly reflections on what we had read and how it connects to today. I very much enjoyed writing these as they were a way to take what was being said by the author and make some sense of it. It was also a chance for me to try out writing again.

If you’re unaware of the current situation, we’re living in a pandemic. So, school is different, it’s 100% virtual and the content is skimmed down and delivered to us differently. I would say that what I learned from this unit was drastically altered due to our current situation. From my book I learned that the situation we are in is barely bad compare to what it can be and that helps me understand that we are going to be fine. The academic thing I learned is that is the strategy of the author. As far as school goes, I’ve realized that personally at this point in the year, my mark can’t go down, there is minimal work, and I’ve committed and been accepted for post-secondary next year. In my head I’ve already checked out of high school so I’m finding it hard to enjoy my work.


PLP 12 and the Political Spectrum
Thursday February 06th 2020, 4:46 am
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This isn’t exactly what I was expecting. I ended my last post with a joyous “see you in Vietnam!” But here we are and we are definitely not in Vietnam. No, we are at Seycove Secondary and guess what? WE’RE LEARNING!!! Ok, it’s not just now we’re learning, we learn all the time. This was slightly because this is basic knowledge that we not only need for our Vietnam project and trip, but also life. Politics. Not just what they are but how people’s views can be defined and represented across time and the world

I come into this unit completely clueless and confused. I know Mr. Hughes hates to hear this, but I often say how much I dislike politics. I have never really understood why it is how it is, why everyone does nothing but argue about it and seem to dislike whatever is happening at the time. Honestly, this week of lectures and debates probably opened my eyes more than any unit I can think of in a while. Allow me to break down why exactly.


The very first thing that we did this week, before any lecture, talk or idea sharing we did something new. We took a quiz. Not to test our knowledge or to collect what we knew and judge us on this. It was to gauge what we knew coming in, so that the teachers could find what to teach. The answer was that we knew nothing and needed everything, especially me. I got a guessing 5/10 on the first quiz. But as the week went on I learned more and more, but how?

We spent about 2-4 days doing intense lectures on a few things. The first was note taking. I have taken a lot of notes before in a few classes. From not packages in Physics or Chemistry, to writing down essential points in Biology. This is the first time though that I’ve had a teacher break down note formats. I chose traditional note style and I did it on paper. Similar to how I take notes in Biology. I take those notes often and I am comfortable writing the quickly and clearly, as well as a format that accommodates study notes. As far as what I learned it’s pretty simple to break down. I learned
everything. Like I mentioned earlier I came into this project a blank slate. Not only had I never thought about or considered where I or others fall, but I didn’t know what anything event meant. Detailed on the attached images throughout this paragraph are my notes. We discussed everything from Libertarianism to Feminism. Not just summarizing these topics and giving examples or definitions but connecting them. To each other as well as the work around us. We kept on taking similar quizzes to the one we took the first day (that i got 50% on) and by the end of the week I got 100% on the final two iterations of the quiz. For me not only does this new knowledge of the big wigs of the world around me but it also lends assistance to our next project. We’ve already started talking more about Nationalism and how it can become extreme. (A topic that where we are traveling to and researching has a deep history).

Now, what about my experience? My understanding? My views? That’s what’s next. In order to wrangle all of this back to the students we took another quiz. This one wasn’t bout how economic decisions are made in pure Capitalism. This was about where we fall on the 2-planed police spectrum. Left and right but also up and down. We took this quiz on the Political Compass Website. Here’s where I landed.

In this quiz I was near the middle but did fall slightly left and down. What does that mean? Well closer to the bottom is the closer you are to Libertarian, meaning you value political freedom, freedom of choice, and individual judgement and understanding. Being left means that I support social equality and reject the idea of social class separation. I agree with both of those statements, and based off my reaction to hearing lectures in the past week, it makes sense.


Finally, we were to communicate our understanding. In this project that took one of two forms. Either a video representing one political ideology or a poster that showed the spectrum through our own eyes. I chose to show what this all looks like through the eyes of me.

I did this by using flags. For me the best way to memorize interpret or organize countries is by flag. It’s their defining image. So what I did was in order to show the spectrum of politics i used those flags to spell the word politics and the flags are also in categories along the political spectrum. (eg. Communist countries on left). For this I had to research which countries were prominent or notable spots on the political spectrum throughout history. I also really liked how this poster turned out because it also shows the bleeding of one section into another and how countries can identify or act as multiple. Below is my poster illustration the mosaic that is the political spectrum.


History With Billy
Saturday February 01st 2020, 6:42 am
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This project is a bit of a different flavour. Coming off the super fun, long winded and intense horror project and the resultant movie, this project was a good cleanse. For a start we were taught by Ms. Maxwell, she hasn’t taught a unit since grade 10 so that was fun to switch it up. Also, the main driver for this unit was very different. Normally well read a book, or watch a movie, or discuss and event. No, our main document that lit the fire of our project was as follows.

Yep. That’s right. Our project was based off of the events and people mentioned by a Billy Joel in that song. Before I get into what I made and chose as a topic click HERE for a rundown of the lyrics and topics. For a fun game try and find mine?
Anyway, onto my project.

For my topic I chose ‘Liston Beats Patterson.’ This was a lyric said by Billy that references the heavyweight bout in 1962 between Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson. Our whole project was to make any sort of media we please arguing the significance of the event chosen. I chose to emphasize the profundity of events. That in order for an event to be significant it has to change the way of life for a group of people. That could be a large lifestyle change, or in the case of this match it was as simple as just how sport fans loom at athletes. here is the video I made to make that point.

This video was originally dreamy dup to show me practicing m sport of stand up paddle boarding but weather and filming issues associated with such got in the way. I also was not happy with how the attire change went. Throughout the video I slowly remote my medals as well as sponsor gear. The idea behind that is that an athlete is more than their accomplishments or success. How I cut it and didn’t mention was originally intended to make it so it spoke for itself. Unfortunately that did not work perfectly. I would change that if I did it again.

The other big part of this project was communication, this applied to our final product but also throughout. The ability to constantly be able to present and enforce ideas. We did this through a few different documents that we created, our final products as well as presenting to our class. I really liked the idea of presenting. This meant that not only did we have to know our product enough to make a product. We also had to know it well enough to stand in front of our teachers and peers and talk about it. Here is some of the ways I communicated before any of that happened.

We did a lot leading up to this project. The first thing that we did was a pitch. This was a multi page document, in which we were to pitch our event as significant, our idea on what to create and do some initial research. This is something I had never done before and honestly I really loved it. It allowed me to take a step that I wanted to begin my project, and also gave my teacher a window into my thinking so that she helped me throughout and understood all aspects. Here is my first pitch.

Liston Beats Patterson


The next two parts of my project go hand in hand. First is my formal research document. This was a 5-10 page document where we were to research anything and everything related to our topic and present it in a way that was easy for us to read and Ms. Maxwell to follow. Here that is.

Liston Beats Patterson Research

Then from that came my works cited. This is something that we have done before but this was a wake up call as we haven’t doe it in a while and definitely not as a separate page. This is everything source wise that I used for my research document as well as product creation. Here that is.

Works Cited; Liston V Patterson

This all might seem fast and to the point. And it was. That’s what I really enjoyed about this unit. It was a very fresh way to start 2020 and our project minds had a chance to kick into high gear yet again. As far as the project went it was very lineal and easy to follow which I enjoyed because I always knew where I was going and how to get there. The content as well was also super cool because we were given a very large piece of material, then got to break down what we liked and were interested for our project. I also enjoyed the practice of independence. Our class got too much of each other in the last project and will benefit from the separation of this project. Overall, great time and I’ll see you in the Vietnam Project. (Teaser)


Mmmm HmmmmPol
Tuesday January 28th 2020, 7:38 am
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So, we’re back here again. This is the final time I will ever do this. This is my fifth of five midyear presentations of learning. This one I want to make a bit different. Instead of just walking through my work so far and talking about what I’m proud of and what I need to work on. I wanted to try and fit it in a perspective and make it a bit different. I portrayed my year so far along the ways of the Hero’s Journey. So, here is each slide of my keynote I made and roughly what I mean by each slide, each image, and how it relates to my year.

Slide on is just the breakdown of the hero’s journey. A breakdown of each step, the divide between the comfortable and usual area and the unknown of adventure. I put my cutout face at the top so that people know it me. I used this as a template for each other one of my slides.

The second slide is the first stage of the hero’s journey, the call to adventure. This one I connected to the general feeling of the impending grade 12. During the summer the buildup. This is a very calming and easy part. The calm before the storm if you will. This is a very beginning step to the school year so far.

The third slide is crossing the threshold. The beginning of grade 12. For me this was just the beginning of ‘big boy school’ and kind of adult feeling. This was just the beginning of the year. Not a lot going on because we’re just getting going.

The fourth slide is the road of trials. The first tastings of characters, I chose the image of great Gatsby because it is one of class and organization, yet surrounded by chaos and succeeding. Kind of how my first project went. It is just the beginning though…

The bottom of the hero’s journey is the abyss. This is the biggest failure and downfall, yet also the biggest spot of character development and betterment. This fits the horror project. A FAIL project (first attempt in learning) and taught me and my peers a lot.

The first step up is metamorphosis. The character realizes the importance of the events that occurred in the abyss and how to grow from them. I chose a picture with a lot of emotion as I feel it represents the vibe post horror movie.

The next step is the ultimate boon. A helpful event or thing. This was the mini project we did with Ms. Maxwell. This individual experience was a good chance for us to reconnect with ourselves and the project creation process.

The final step is the return homer after our journey through the unknown land and the abyss our character has changed and is ready to develop into a better and more prepared version of themselves. That’s why I picked a nice happy picture for that, growth=happy.


The Horrific Horror Movie
Friday January 17th 2020, 8:07 am
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Welcome back to the blog with the most confusing array of content. Today I will be capping off the horror project that seems to be going on forever. Don’t worry it’s done, this is a reflective post. Before I deconstruct the project allow me to show you the movie. Well, kind of. It’s a trailer for a movie. I’ll explain later.

I give to you. Dirty Work.

So, now we’ve seen that. Allow me to break it down.

So this project had 3 main things going on. 1) A novel study/text and media analysis. 2) A field school. 3) A movie. I already made a post on the novel study and text analysis, if you’d like to read about that refer to the post below.

The Monster Munch

Now. Let me dive in to the next part of this project. The field school. So in October we went to Seattle and Tacoma for 3 days. We spent our time at the LeMay car museum, we did a few workshops and spent a lot of time touring the MoPOP and then went to the one of the scariest haunted houses in North American. The Georgetown Morgue.

Doing a field school at the very beginning of a unit was a really cool idea because we were immediately immersed in the material and style of the project. I really enjoyed this trio because it was the first in a while that 100% of the class was there and I had a really good time and felt really engaged with the material.

And the final part of the project. The product. The movie. This was an interesting journey to say the least. We started the project string but soon that wasn’t working so we reworked the roles and tried again. That still didn’t totally work. I started as director, that wasn’t working as I didn’t quite fit that very specific role. I ended up being one of the lewd actors as well on the post production team.


The biggest downfall of the production was the whole idea of a movie and assigning each person to a role. When you assign a classmate to a pre-production role for example, the they do their work and it’s done well. Two issues though. We’re all marked individually so it was our personal downfall to always worry about ourselves and we lost that communication and collaboration aspect which is key for a project like this. Also then once your job is done everything gets real fuzzy, we were tripping over each other and boom. Project deadline is here and we don’t have a whole movie .

But that’s all in the past. What can we take away. There are positives. For example this proved our class can get along. Even though we didn’t work in our individual roles perfectly the actual production was enjoyable which hints at a positive class experience moving forward. We also learned the importance of communication and the ability that one needs to know to stay in their lane and their lane only. Many suffered from that including myself. Moving forward hopefully we all remember this project whenever entering a group project.

Also, this project made me realize my love for horror movies and hate for haunted houses. So thank you for that 😂.

The Monster Munch
Thursday November 21st 2019, 5:34 am
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Welcome back. More blogging. Woooooooooo. Anyway, let’s get to the point. It’s time to rap up this mini series of blog posts. I did one that was a movie review of the original Halloween and then one on Get Out. You can read about those below.

Get Outta There

Halloween Movie Response

This post is like those in that it’s based of film, but unlike those because I’m here to answer a question. So, let’s get to answering that question:


Supported by Marey Shelly’s Frankenstein, a Modern Prometheus, the original Frankenstein film and Gods and Monsters.

I would like to begin by talking about the big man himself. The creature. Often mislabeled as Frankenstein, that name is incorrect, and is that of his creator. The creature is even sometimes called ‘The Monster’ but that is incorrect, and honestly a dishonour to Marey Shelly and James Whale. Without even giving examples from a text, just based of the idea of a man brought from the dead, made of parts of other men… Stop. Right there. Parts of other men, fused together to make a ‘creature’ of hate destruction and fear. It is almost a slap in the face that he is simply a messenger, a billboard for the judgements and pitfalls of humanity because he’s MADE OF OTHERS. The way others look at and influence him is monstrous. Anyway, onto some more concrete and textual reasons.

Ok, now let’s talk about the og. The grandpappy of these stories. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The name itself. Prometheus is a trickster figure, he was a champion of mankind known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and the gods and gave it to mortals. The monster is very similar in that he is displaying the power of the gods. The creation of life. Yet the creature and his creator, Frankenstein are not unlike a message from the big boys upstairs. That in the modern world of society, people disregard that which is different, new, developing or unique simply because they have fallen into the toxicity or normality. Even if it is an example of man touching the powers of god. The title itself of the book, the references to the bible, and the beauty of a narrative that we receive from the monster illustrates and reinforces my point. People reject him, and the idea of change and development even in such a respected field as science, simply because it is not ‘normal’ or ‘civilized.’ News flash. Nothing is, and Mary Shelley’s creature was but a lamb in the slaughterhouse of society.

Now, to move onto when this was first brought onto screen in James Whale’s Frankenstein. This movie is a gorgeous mosaic of fantastic use of lighting and colour, but also a very deep and meaningful story that spoke the message of Mary Shelley’s book but in a modern concept of the time. Allow me to explain. This movie was made in 1931, between the two world wars. This was an interesting time for the US and the world because it was very unsure. A lot of advancements in technology had been made during and because of the war, yet it had also killed millions. The turmoil was huge, especially in the world of science. Dr. Frankenstein gives us a 30’s gem when he’s explaining the motives of his work. He is called crazy for trying to resurrect a body. He then launches into a beautiful rant, of how we wishes to learn of why the forests burn, why the sun shines, and other fantastic and beautiful legitimate scientific Inquiries. “If I could discover what one of these things is, I wouldn’t care if they call me crazy!” Is a great line because he is addressing the men around him. And how they, similar to the people in Mary Shelley’s book brushed it off or away, because it was new and changed their life. Frankenstein is not the monster. He’s a brilliant scientist. The creature is not a monster. He’s an huge success. Dr. Frankenstein puts it perfectly. “One man crazy, three watch. So sane.” They watch, they resist, they fight change. They are the monsters.

Finally, let’s talk about Gods and Monsters, The title itself is a straight shot at this post. I’m gonna keep this one short because I simply can slam dunk my point in 2 quotes. The first is about what James Whale was trying to convey with the creature in his film. He says “The monster he is noble. Noble and misunderstood.” That is exactly what I’ve been saying. He is a perfect portrayal of innocence, learning, nobility. Yet because he is different, he becomes what the people see him as. A monster. Now. Seeing. What those people see is what really makes the human morals monstrous. And yet again, our friend James Whale comes in with gold. He gestures to his head and says: “The only monsters are here.” Case closed.

The monsters come from within our own minds. In all these adaptations the ‘modern’ world that surrounds Frankenstein and his creature is the reason that brilliant scientist and his successful experiment are labeled ‘crazy’ and a ‘monster.’ In all of these stories it is obvious and interesting to see how heavily this is false. That in fact humanity and society and the judgements of normality and acceptance. Those, are the monsters.


Get Outta There
Thursday November 14th 2019, 1:18 am
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Hello, and welcome to the second post of a unit that I have been anticipating, yet dreading for months. The horror unit. This post is my analysis and response to watching Get Out, Jordan’s Peele’s immensely popular movie from 2017. It’s about Chris, an African-American man, decides to visit his Caucasian girlfriend’s parents during a weekend getaway. Although they seem normal at first, he is not prepared to experience the horrors ahead. Like my most recent post, which was a response to the movie Halloween, I am going to dissect the movie, it’s message, and my response.

To open, I want to discuss the most important feature. Horror. This is a horror movie, so most importantly to discuss is what about this movie is horrific? In my opinion, as a first time watcher what scared me most was the continuous discomfort and misleading nature of the story. Long pauses, questionable character traits, or odd dialogue and interactions put watchers on the edge. Then, as the story progresses and the story unfolds more and more disturbing aspects are revealed. The revealing of these horrors also tie with the killings. The mother of the family is hypnotizing African Americans, then the father performs brain surgery so that old, white neighbours and friends can inhabit their bodies while they watch in their own subconscious. They do it for sale, to make money, but to also better their family. Their grandmother lives in their maid (left), and their grandfather inhabits the groundskeeper. The old consciousness of these people watch in idle as their bodies are controlled.

Right now the overhanging monster is the fact that I have to direct our classes horror movie in the coming weeks. So, why not look deep into this movies director. Jordan Peele. I was introduced to Jordan Peele and comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key in 2014, in what stands as my favorite sketches ever, The Substitute Teacher. Have a watch.

Anyway, back to the point. I really like Jordan Peele. His use of long silence, beautiful character development and skin crawling sound make Get Out one of my favorite movies I’ve seen to date. But what does he say about his underlying meaning of the movie. It hints at racism, social divide, slavery, and even just the change in generations and how they view certain groups. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jordan Said: “ [He] put [his] worst fears out there.”(Malkin) Through writing he realized that “slavery was not something of the past,” and that he wanted to speak to African American people having their “freedoms taken away.”

Finally, how does it connect to Marey Shelly’s Frankenstein. Honestly, the connection is faint. The only connection that I could really make was the constructs an expectations of society. In Frankenstein the people reject Frankenstein because he is different and ugly. In Get Out, one of the reasons that the old white people want to inhabit a young African American’s body is ‘cool’. They see it as hip and different. Interesting because that is a complete change of the Frankenstein storyline.


Halloween Movie Response
Thursday November 07th 2019, 5:29 am
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Hello, and welcome to the first post of a unit that I have been anticipating, yet dreading for months. The horror unit. This post is my analysis and response to watching the original Halloween by John Carpenter from 1978. So, without further ado, this is my response to Halloween.

I want to begin by talking abut the horror. This is a horror film, so most important to the picture is what makes this movie particularly horrific. This movie is fascinating, and a trendsetter in a lot of ways if we look at how the horror is presented, and how it sets up our main antagonist, Michael Myers. The underlying, undeniable, and constant feeling of absence. For example the absence of understanding. Throughout the movie, from curtain open to curtain close we are never let into Michael’s head. We never learn of any motivation or morals at all. That is the seed for great horror, gaps in malicious intent or events that the watcher must fill in with his or her worst fears or dreads. The film doesn’t explain what Michael is exactly doing or why, and it doesn’t intend to either. It allows you to create your own story, and because of that we all have our own version of Michael Myers that could be watching us at night as we walk home. That’s the beauty and perfection of this movie, you feel like it could happen to you. And that, is terrifying.

Building off the idea of absence I want to briefly talk about camera and audio work. John Carpenter does a beautiful job of drawing out suspense. There are so many scenes that draw out long, quiet stretches with very little dialogue and maybe some sound effects. Whether you see Michael or not, whether his signature music is upping your blood pressure or not. You start to lean forward. In those pauses you look around. Could he come from there? Did that move? What’s that in the background? Having people that paranoid at nothing makes them astronomically more terrified when something actually happens

Enough of my opinion, I want to open up the door of time, and step into the era when this was set. In the 70s a lot of film “refused to give audiences easy explanations or closure”(Eggert) and this was reflective of the beginning of the unknown in the media. For example in events like the Vietnam war, we were left with little closure or complete conclusion that fit continuity. People were left confused and scared of the unknown and unexplained. Carpenter plays those heartstrings with Halloween. The introduction and suggestion at the idea of mental health, and the fantastic quote from Dr. Loomis, saying :”This isn’t a man”(Carpenter). The people were yet again, questioning and beginning to mistrust the world around them. And Carpenter filled that with horror.

John Carpenter uses suspense beautifully throughout the film, in a timeless fashion. Even today watching it my whole class jumped at the slightest inclination of seeking good ol’ Mike pop on screen. That’s the beauty of the film. Carpenter uses suspense like the famous Alfred Hitchcock, something that “the audience is aware of but the film’s characters are not.”(Eggert). That feeling of wanting to yell ‘DON’T GO IN THERE’ is exactly what Carpenter wanted you to feel.

Finally, I want to finish by relating to a book I am reading in class. Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus is a book written over a hundred years before Michael Myers slashed his way into our hearts and nightmares. In that book we follow the journey of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. What’s fascinating is the similarities of the Creature and Michael Myers. It may come across as opposition thought. Because we spend a good chunk of Frankenstein learning of the Creatures internal struggles, but never even get a word out of Michael. But thats change though time. At the time of the novel, entering that realm of insecurity of humanity would’ve been just as disturbing as the lack of apparent motivation for Michael. Two texts. Over a century apart, yet they do nod the hat to one another.


Carpenter, Jon, director. Halloween . Compass International , 1978.

Eggert, Brian. “Halloween.” Deep Focus Review, Deep Focus Review, 25 Oct. 1978,

Shakespeare in September
Monday October 07th 2019, 7:42 pm
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In this, our fist unit of the year we are tackling the question ‘How can we create animated shorts that use “The Taming of the Shrew” to explain the the social, cultural, intellectual, and emotional settings that shaped people’s lives and actions in the past?’ So, to begin allow me to show you How to Tame a Housewife an animated play by myself, Robbie and Spencer. Based off of The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.

Now, what lead to this product was a whole unit. A unit that can be perfectly summarized by our milestones due to the fact that we did 6 milestones. A milestone being a product that we create to demonstrate our understanding. I am going to tell the story of the unit and the learning by walking through the milestones that I created. So, without further ado, here we go.

Milestone 1

Reflection on a classic.

This project did not start in the fall. In the summer we started by choosing a classic book to read. I chose to read the classic book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. i chose this because I had seen the movie multiple times, and it is one of my favourite films I’ve ever seen. The book did not disappoint. It was a window into the time period, but with a neutral and timeless view on the story and events. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Unfortunately we wrote this paragraph to go with it before we knew about the unit. So, I did not know exactly what to start at, so it is not the best. But this us why we do it first. So we improve as the unit continues. So, milestone 1. A paragraph on if I believe The Great Gatsby is a classic.

I think that was sets a true, unforgettable classic apart from what your grandmother might call a classic from back in “her day,” is that you can actually read it. Not because you are told to by your family, or required to in school. Not even on your own accord. No, a true classic will make you, and anyone who reads it feel like they are in the story. They can understand, relate and empathize over the plot, characters, and themes. Even though the book was written in 1924, and set two years prior, we can still hear lines and quotes like they are being spoken in today’s modern world. My personal favorite is “Life is much more successfully looked at through a single window.” I do ask you to read that over. And consider. Consider that even though those words were written 95 years ago by the so called greatest generation. That line resonates even with me, a specimen of the most criticized, scrutinized and doubted generation ever. The wisdom of this novel lives on through every generation. And that, just like Jay Gatsby’s manner, is just drop dead classic.


Milestone 2

Reflection on The Taming of the Shrew

In this second milestone we had to answer the question, ‘Is The Taming of the Shrew a classic?’ This writing piece was much better for me because we had talked much more about the topic, ideas and understanding the question more. I also feel that I can write essays better than a paragraph. Because I have a lot of space to get my point across, I slow down and my writing improves in my opinion. We also had more time to write this essay and were writing it all throughout the unit. So, here is my essay for milestone 2. Is the Taming of the Shrew a classic?’

Seycove Secondary

Looking at The Taming of the Shrew Today 

Was it a Classic?

Adam Gerbrecht  

PLP 12

Ms. Petra Willemse

September 16-27, 2019

The Taming of the Shrew was written by William Shakespeare in 1592, over four hundred years ago. Since then we have discovered electricity, found North America, invented planes, trains and automobiles. Yet we still read, perform, and learn this same play. Why do we still read the same play? Is it the story? The setting? Or is it simply the Shakespearean reputation? No. None of that. In this situation the answer to this question is not a separate answer. The answer is, in fact, the question. Sound confusing? Good. Allow me to elaborate. 

To begin, let me tell you of a first hand experience with an actor from this very play. Touching on the idea of why we perform it. At Bard on the Beach in 2019, The Taming of the Shrew was performed. Set in the Wild West, this play was brought to life once again. After the performance I had the pleasure of participating in a question period with the actors and actresses of this very play. So, of course I asked the question: “What makes The Taming of the Shrew a classic? What has made it stand the test of time?” My question was well answered by Chirag Naik, who was playing Tranio. He emphasized that ‘the ability to change the language, while still maintaining the pose and story,’ (Naik) is what maintains the tale over time. He continued, explaining there had been modifications made to the script, as well as changing the ending. All to make the story more politically correct in today’s lens. Even after all of this, Shakespeare’s unmistakable sentence structure and syntax shone through the immaculate story backbone. 

Chirag Naik mentioned the story being changed. What does that mean exactly? What makes the story learnable today? Well, in the 2019 Bard on the Beach version Katerina and Petrucio run away as outlaws against their family’s will in a rebellious Bonny and Clyde style. In a play about a woman becoming submissive, the entire cast was female in 2003 in London and 2016 in New York. That is to name two of many adaptations of the play. Adaptation, the process of changing to suit different conditions. Common amongst animals, plants and ecosystems. Changing and evolving as time effects their landscape. But a play? A play that is able to not only stand the test of time, but able to adapt to the world around it change. That is a classic. Born in the past, immortalized in the present, undying in the future. That is how the story is classic. 

But what exactly is the story? How do we see it over time? Why do we still read it? The backbone of a story is what holds it all together. The main principles that form the structure for an author to build a world, in which we are transported when exposed to the various media that the product may be displayed. In The Taming of the Shrew, the backbone that is present throughout is the taming of Katerina. Since the plays inception the ending in which she is gives her final speech protesting her apparent submission to Petrucio as her lord. How does any of this relate to the play being a classic? The very fact that we still debate this topic is suggesting that Shakespeare is “critical of Petruchio rather than intent on holding him up as a paragon of woman-taming.” (De Wachter). Intentionally or not, good old William Shakespeare has written this story in such a way that we still question his deep motivations behind his story backbone. If countless generations later we are still discussing these points, then not calling this play a classic. Is unthinkable. 

I love this play. I have seen it as a live production three times. Two this year and once when it was presented earlier at Bard on the Beach in Vancouver a few years ago. What in the world makes a teenage boy who wears double denim enjoy a play from 1592? Even though this play was written 427 years ago, it is still a classic. The actors that perform it today feel that it is adaptable, yet easy to understand when changed. The story backs that up, the more that one reads into the history of the play, the more changes to the story overtime change. The fact that we change the story, instead of replacing it also is a huge point. Why not just teach, perform or read a new play that is more topical? We can’t explain it, we just keep doing it. That is why it’s a classic. We can’t stop it from growing as our civilization does too.

Works Cited

De Wachter, Rachel. “Power and Gender in The Taming of the Shrew.” Discovering Literature: Shakespeare , British Library , 15 Nov. 2016, shakespeare/articles/power-and-gender-in-the-taming-of-the-shrew.

Naik, Chirag. “The Taming of the Shrew.” The Taming of the Shrew. 16 Sept. 2019, Vancouver.


Milestone 3

Historical Perspective on Women

The third creation on our little yellow brick road of milestone mini-projects was our mini video on the historical perspective on women. We were put in the groups that we would be creating our final animated short with. This is the video at the top with Spencer and Robbie. Before we made any of that though, we made our own little videos on women specifically in our assigned time period. We were given WWII, which I quite liked because we did a lot of time with that time period in the past couple years. I decided to use a blend of real life video, explain everything style animation, and hand drawn images.

Milestone 4 and 5

Milestone 4 and 5 were the storyboard for our video and the first draft of our animated short. The story board is a weird thing to share on a blog, but I am going to show our first draft. After you watch this video I would recommend watching the video at the top again so that you get an idea for the growth that happened throughout the creation of this video.

Milestone 6

This Post

The final and 6th milestone was this post. A summary. So, what did I actually learn? Well, I had seen this play at Bard on the Beach earlier this year, so whenever I saw, read or talked about this play I could go deeper. What I mean by that was that because I had already seen it, so i already understood main ideas so it was easier for me to go deep into the meaning ad build a project from that. So, now. Now I know that taking my time to really truly understand the content of a project can make the process of making a product better is essential. So, I will be carrying that idea through the rest of my year. This project was a great way to start, see you in Horror Unit!!!

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