Men Cast a Real Big Shadow

Five weeks is a very short amount of time. It is also an eternity. Welcome to the post on why men suck.

For the past five weeks, we have been studying one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, The Taming of the Shrew (TOTS). We have been looking at it through the lens of women, feminism in a sense. We read the play, and studied the feminist movement throughout the ages.

Throughout the project, we were also completing weekly reflection posts on what we were learning. These posts were fun to do, because we got chances to reflect on what we were learning. These posts, including Sluts and Women and Tigers, Oh My!, What Am I, a Maid?and Subtext much were a chance to record the process during the process. A lot of what we learned were in these posts, so by all means check them out.

There were three sides to the project; essays, history, and TOTS. The project went in circles between these three, and were a ton of fun to connect!

Lets talk first about the essays, because why not. We were reading a bunch of essays and texts that showed examples of women in history, and we had to answer a bunch of questions on them. At the time, it seemed real annoying and a waste of time. Actually, though, it was really beneficial for the last leg of this project which we’ll get to later. They helped me learn about the structure of an essay, and how different people have different styles for writing essays. It was really interesting to see how people used evidence, broke things up in certain ways, all that jazz. They also served as fantastic proof for that final product.

Now, history. Mostly, we looked at the 20th century. Starting with the suffragette movement, which was the first wave of feminism, we moved through time to see how things changed, and didn’t change, for women.

We had one milestone specifically focused on the history. We were split into groups and assigned a decade to research and present. Now, due to some circumstances, I wasn’t actually at the presentations. That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. I did a considerable amount of research on the topic, which was quite insightful.

My biggest takeaway from that was one of the research points about women and appearance.

The 70’s were the beginning of the natural makeup idea. Women could still wear makeup, but couldn’t look ‘whorish’ by wearing too much makeup. They had to be slim, and natural looking. It wasn’t just men that pushed this appearance, either, which is sad. its upsetting to think about the expectations for the ideal woman, and how much of that is just their looks.

That would bring us to The Taming of the Shrew. As far as Shakespeare goes, it was well written of course, but kinda rapey. Petruchio is the perfect example of one of those creepy men in todays media that doesn’t listen when someone says no. Looking back now, that’s probably the inspiration for some of those pieces of media. Anyways. It is the perfect form of media to look at when inspecting women throughout history. It portrays exactly the ideal woman, and how to make a shrew that perfect woman. It makes me want to throw up.

Now, I mentioned that final product before. And honestly, you may have figured it out. Regardless, here is the big reveal. We were writing an essay about the continuity and change of women throughout the 20th century, more or less. We used the knowledge from reading all those essays and text, to be able to create the perfect essay. And I say the perfect essay because I have done at least 10 revisions and it is finally approved. Of course I love the challenge, but I liked the first one. Its always good to have feedback though, and I am happy with what I am learning.

One thing that I have struggled with in the past is my conclusions. I always felt that they were weird and rambley. Well, I think a lot of my writing is weird and rambley. Anyways, apparently this was good. I mean, you can take a look at my final essay and see for yourself.

I learned a lot during the course of this project. Of course I am used to feedback, but with the new grading system I am really getting into the grove of things. I learned that what I think is great can always be improved. There is always more to add. It also taught me to really look at the media I consume, and make sure its not super rapey.

Subtext much

Welcome back to another weekly reflection. This week, I think I got the gist of what these are supposed to be. But of course, there has to be a draw back. This week’s is that, due to a series of unfortunate events, I was only at school for one day. But, we learned lots in that one day. The thing that stood out to me most is our study of ‘feminist’ songs, specifically Man, I Feel Like a Woman by Shania Twain. 

We were looking at the song, analyzing it, to see if it was a female empowerment song. And when we first started it, I thought it was. I remember being a little kid at sleepovers singing karaoke versions of it. But taking a closer look, its debatable. Of course, I can’t make a decision for anyone, but there are a couple key reasons I learned about it that made me take a second look. 

The first was a preconception I had coming to the song. I thought that it was Shania Twain who wrote the song. And that’s true, to a certain extent. She co-wrote the song with her then-husband, Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He is a big time music producer, working with artists like AC/DC and Lady Gaga. So, was it really Twain who wanted to write the song, or was it mostly Lange, using Twain’s image to say these things?

The music video plays on the Lange/Twain idea as well. As the song progresses, Twain takes off more and more clothing. It could be seen as empowering to women, if it was Twain’s idea, or that she was totally on board with the idea. On the other hand, it could just be Lange trying to make more money by putting a scantily-clad woman in a music video. 

The other thing about the music video is that it parodies a music video from the 80’s, Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love. That video shows expressionless female models ‘playing’ instruments in the back. In Twain’s version, they puts blank-eyed male models in tight clothing in the back. It begs the question, for women to become equal do they have to do to men what men do to women?

I honestly don’t know what to think about the song. Its definitely something. But, learning about the subtext in songs makes me pay more attention to what I listen to.

Apparently Petruchio has No Authority

I’d like to preface this post with the fact that I’m still not 100% sure what the teachers want from these posts. Unclear if that’s just me being less than smart, or something else. Regardless, I came up with this idea for my weekly reflection and so were going with it.

One thing that I’ve noticed, that we’ve touched on a wee bit, is the amount of adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew. By adaptations, I mean movies, television shows, plays of course, all that jazz. Believe you me, there are more than enough. The thing is, I guess the themes are timeless or whatever, so people keep making them.

I was curious. So, as one does, I went investigating. Like I mentioned before, there are quite a few adaptations that I could choose from. I decided to look into two of them, and kinda give the low down on them in this post. The ones I’ve chosen are all movies, to be clear, but interesting enough in their own rights.

Just a note, I haven’t actually seen these movies, or not the entire thing. 

The first movie version that we’ll be talking about is the 1929 version of the film, directed by Sam Taylor. This version was in fact talkie*, and the first talkie of The Taming of the Shrew. It starred Mary Pickford as Kate, and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks as Petruchio.

The film is most notable for how Pickford delivered Kate’s last speech of the movie. When Kate goes through the reasons that a wife should obey her husband, she makes a subtle communication with Bianca, which Petruchio does not notice, that shows that Kate has not actually been tamed. This opposes the idea in the original Shakespeare version, where in the end Kate is tamed. In Taylor’s version, Kate knows what’s going on, and responds accordingly. 

The next version is the 1967 adaptation, which I have seen parts of as it is the version we are watching in class. This one, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, is probably the most famous version. Something that is an interesting connection between both this version and the previous version is that in both, Kate and Petruchio are played by real life couples. Zeffirelli’s version starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. 

In this version, there does seem to be a bit more of the idea that Kate and Petruchio actually fall in love. It is also noted that Kate tends to cast longing glances at Petruchio, as we’ve discussed in class a few times. 

The biggest difference in Taylor’s performance then Pickford’s comes again to Kate’s last speech. Taylor chose to deliver the speech with seniority, much to the dismay of Burton and Zeffirelli. However, she continues to undermine Petruchio’s authority by leaving the banquet without him. 

I wanted to compare these two because of the different ideals of women in the time period, and how both Pickford and Taylor play the character of Katherina. I think its interesting how in both versions, the decision was made to show that Kate was never actually tamed. That speaks a lot to the idea of the perfect wife, and something to consider when watching these. 

*talkie: a movie with a soundtrack, as opposed to a silent film

What am I, a Maid?

So, this is our second weekly reflection post. Goodie. 

This week was the week in which we began the actual reading of The Taming of the Shrew. We were partially focusing on the language that depicted women, and this idea of the “ideal wife”. What struck me was some of the language that they used, and how it’s still used today. 

These themes, and words, are also very similar to a CommonLit reading called Advice to the Newly Married Lady, which was an actual book written in the 19th century. It explained to women how they should act in a marriage, and how it is in their best interest to act a certain way. Attributes given to the idea wife are, again, similar to Taming of the Shrew, and again, used today. 

I work in a grocery store, and if you’ve ever worked in customer service, you know how people call you names. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it can be kind of demeaning. One thing I noticed was how some of the names I’m called at work are very similar, and have the same theme as words used in Taming of the Shrew, and in Advice to the Newly Married Lady. 

Words like doll, love, sweetie, darling, and girlie are just some of the things people call female presenting people in the customer service industry. And honestly, I find it very demeaning. It takes me back to a time when “sacred and sweet”( I, i, 171, Taming of the Shrew) was the epitome of femininity. 

Canoe Jousting, Anyone?

What do you really know about the place you grew up? What stories lay hidden in these small communities? How can we tell people more about them? Thats really what this project was about. We, as historians, were to research our little community of Deep Cove, and see what stories we uncovered. 

For this project, we were trying to create a walking tour of Deep Cove, with different physical markers to lead to further learning. What we didn’t realize was that a Deep Cove walking tour already existed. The Deep Cove Heritage Society produced one a couple years ago. So, in true PLP manner, we contacted the DCHS and were gonna help them create a new walking tour!

The first hurtle we had was choosing our locations. We wanted to keep many of the stops that the original pamphlet had, and add new ones. We had to come up with a pitch for our locations, and Ms. Maxwell would choose for us out of the ones we pitched. My location was a new one, the Government Dock in the cove. It may seem like an odd place, but there was a story I had in mind. 

I didn’t grow up in Vancouver, let alone in Deep Cove, but my grandpa did. I asked him at the beginning of the project if, when he was a kid, he ever visited Deep Cove. And I got gold. He told me this amazing story of a trip he went on to Deep Cove that launched my entire project. My grandpa is an amazing storyteller, and it was amazing talking to him. 

His story led me to research about the Deep Cove Regattas. And while I couldn’t find loads of info about them, I did learn a few really key ideas. For one, canoe jousting is a thing. Also, the DCHS has a bunch of original video footage from the regattas which I would love to get my hands on. Unfortunately, due to timing issues, that wasn’t possible. But hey, at least we know they exist.

Now, on to the actual product we were creating. Based on our audience, we thought it best two create 2 tours. They are the same, but on different platforms. One was the Google Map.

The other, which I worked on, was the physical pamphlet. We wanted the tour to be accessible for people without wifi or data. The pamphlet was not easy, though. I, for whatever reason, got to be the Lead Curator. And while I do have some experience leading group projects, doesn’t mean its easy. 

Lead Curator was not so much a specific task, but more of a facilitating role. I helped out different groups and people inside our team. For example, when the map design team was planning out the route, I helped them figure some things out. Other jobs included checking everyones progress, helping to communicate with the Google Map team, and doing citations. 

Each location had to have a short narrative and a digital enhancement, which was another fun part. Because of the small spacing on the pamphlet, we had to shorten all of our research into less that 100 words. Our long and suffering editors worked really hard, and finally did it. 

Since the beginning of Deep Cove, the waterfront has been a key part of what brings people to the area. In the 1930’s, it played a key part in bringing tourism, with the Deep Cove Regattas held in the summer time. Competitions were held during the festival, including diving, boat racing and canoe jousting. Today, the spirit of the regattas is reflected in events like the penguin plunge, an annual community event. For both tourists and locals alike, the waterfront is a key part of what makes Deep Cove special.

The digital enhancement, however, was all on our own. I had originally wanted to create a video with the footage from the actual regattas, but like I said before, that wasn’t possible. So I decided to record my grandpa’s story, which turned out fantastically! I love my grandpa, and this was just amazing. 

Now on to our favourite part of the blog post, reflection on competencies. This project had three competencies; Take Historical Perspective, Writing and Designing Text, and Using Resources. I did kinda touch on the competencies in the body of the post, but I’ll go into further depth here. 

Now, taking historical perspective was something that wasn’t necessarily easy. We were trying to have multiple perspectives in our short narrative, but fitting that into under 100 words was a bit tricky. This was definitely something I struggled with. But then I got it! Tourists and locals. For tourists, the gov dock is a hot spot, somewhere you can take your Honeys Donut to eat. The regattas played a huge part in tourism as well. Before these events, many Vancouverites would visit the Wigwam Inn for summer fun. Once the regattas got started, the community became a hub for tourism. These regattas, and the corresponding tourism, was huge for the people who lived in the area. Businesses then and now need tourism to function. The regattas, as well as other events held on the water, helped build community spirit in the area. 

As I mentioned before, we had to create real short narratives for the pamphlet. This is where the writing and designing competency comes in. We had to take the really relevant information from our research and make it small. But its not just words. We had to tell the story of our location in this passage. It was difficult to actually realize what the relevant information was, but I think in the end it turned out okay.

Using resources was a bit more straight forward. We had to find info from a variety of sources, and I did my best to do just that. Books like Echoes Across the Inlet and Echoes Across Seymour were a really big help. I can’t say that I use books for research a lot, and it was refreshing. I also got info from an audio recording of a Deep Cove bus tour, which, man, was quite interesting. Of course the Deep Cove Heritage Society archive was a big help too. Once we had all the info, we had to cite. There was a bunch of unnecessary turmoil to do with that, but in the end we got them all in a document. 

This was a really fun project overall. Learning about our community is super fun. And golly-gee, all I want to do now is canoe joust.

Sluts and Women and Tigers, Oh My!

Morning folks, and welcome to my final year of blog posts. It is indeed my last year of high school, and truly an end of an era. So cherish it while it lasts, but boy will you have a lot to cherish. This year, one thing that we’ve been ‘asked’ to do is write a weekly reflection blog post. There are many factors making this year odd, (cough covid cough), but this one is sure to be something to be remembered. So let’s start of the year right and talk about sluts!

Context. Okay, so in this project, not that we’ve actually been given lots of information, we’ve been focusing on two topics, which I’ll talk about in this post, the first being the changing role of women, I think. Not super clear but let’s go with it.

We started off by watching a couple videos from different time periods where they used the word slut. We were supposed to be understanding how the word has changed overtime, though in the videos the word was used in different ways. We had an assignment were we looked at the videos which can explain them more.

In the first example the word slut is used, though in a comical way, as a sort of attack against the women in the argument, as well as the person of who pm they were talking about. ‘Jane you ignorant slut’ is an attack, not a joke. It is also said by a man on public television, which has definitely changed. In the Golden Girls episode, several years after the SNL skit, the word slut is used in a more comical light, and is recognized as such by all the characters. The characters kind of laugh at it, like a joke between friends. The key difference in the golden girls scene, though, is that it is said by a woman. This kind of changes the connotation. Still, in both the first and second examples, it is said as a joke and recognized by the audience as such. The third clip from Sex and the City takes a more philosophical look at the word. Carrie looks at it from a serious standpoint, like is she actually a slut. In the context that she seemed to take it, she looked at the word from a negative standpoint. Today, posing that word in any sort of context on TV would be a much more serious thing. It would really only be used if a woman was taking back the word, or if the character was already looked at in a negative light. The point is, overtime the word and is use has changed quite a bit, and it’s definitely not looked at as it once was.

In all honesty, I am not a fan of that word. At all. I know some people are trying to reclaim it, similar to the way the LGBTQ+ community retook the word queer. It just seems so judgemental. It places an assumption upon women that creates a double standard between female identifying people and male identifying people. Men are expected to have many partners, while when women do it they are called derogatory terms like slut. Times may have changed, but this idea still exists. 

Another thing we talked about in the discussion was how it was different when a woman called another woman a slut. Sure it’s different, but it still stings. In the show Grand Army, based on a play called Slut: The Play, girls still call each other sluts, in a bad way. They act a certain way, so they must be sluts. It really sucks that we still think this way.

On a lighter note, the second thing we were focusing on this week was vocabulary. Yay. 

Remember those spelling packages you would get in elementary school, where you would study a bunch of words, do activities with them, and then have a spelling test on them? Well, this was basically that, sans the test. We were learning some, not new, but very interesting words. Words like imperious, and fervent.

I fully thought these were random words. Turns out, sometimes things have rhyme and reason. These words were then used in a passage we had to thematically analyze. Just gonna say solidly that that was a weird passage. Would you have your lover eaten by a tiger or marry another woman?

Think and Create: Diane Nash

Hello and welcome to my final think and create post. I had a hard time trying to figure out what to make of this one but I was hit by inspiration (and a ticking clock) to educate myself more about one of the key players of the civil rights movement, Diane Nash. There aren’t a lot of women who are thought of as key players of this time, but boy did Nash play a big part. Now, instead of just having you read about this amazing woman on my blog post, I have made a short little book using book creator about her and her accomplishments!

Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

The SNCC was formed in 1960 to help younger African-american people participate in the civil rights movement. They participated in events like the Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and, lead by Diane Nash, the Freedom Rides. They worked side by side with other Civil Rights Organizations, including the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC).

Lunch Counter Sit-Ins

The Greensboro Four were a group of four young black men who staged the first lunch counter sit in at Greensboro. Spurred on by the murder of Emmet Till,  and inspired by the non violent tactics of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), they were protesting segregation in the south. The movement spread across the south, with many arrests, but made an important impact, making establishments in the south change their segregation policies.

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

The CORE, founded in 1942 at the University of Chicago, embraced a non-violent approach to fighting racial segregation, and worked with many other civil rights groups. CORE was a big player in the Civil Rights movement, and started many initiatives, including the Freedom Rides, and the Freedom Summer of voter registration.

Freedom Rides

In 1961, CORE organized a group of African American people and white people to participate in the freedom rides, where they would test the ruling that there could be no segregation on interstate bus travel. They travelled in two buses, journeying from Washington, DC to New Orleans. Reactions were terrible. One of the buses, when travelling through Alabama, was firebombed. On the other bus was similarly attacked and passengers beaten. Discouraged, and with no one willing to take them any further, the SNCC took over and revived the effort, even getting government protection for a short leg. In Montgomery, though, they were again beaten when local police did not protect them. This prompted the government to get the national guard involved, but all riders were arrested when they arrived at their final destination. Finally, Kennedy created new legislation to stop segregation on interstate busses.

And that’s my post! I hope you take the time to click on some of those external links, and go deeper in your understanding of the civil rights movement, because its still relevant today, and educating yourself on these issues can help us stop prevent them from happening today.

SLC’s the Eighth: tPOLs

It’s that time of the year again, where we reflect on all that has transpired, and prepare to move into the next year. PLP is a program focused on growth, and this year I have strived to go further than I have before. From leaving my comfort zone on Field schools, to running a class project, everything this year has pushed me farther along the path to success. For this tPOL, I’m going to draw from three different projects that really stretched my thinking, and reflect on how they have prepared me for the future.

What skills did you use and what skills do you want to continue to develop?

One thing that has definitely been a challenge over the past few months is learning online. It has not been easy, even for PLP. PLP was definitely quicker to adapt than some of my other courses, but having no contact, really, with a lot of the teachers has been extremely difficult. Being in PLP, though, has definitely been an advantage. I was able to use skills that I developed in this program, that made the switch a lot easier. From being comfortable on a device, to just straight up having applications on our devices, made online work seem more accessible. Even with all that, it’s still a struggle to motivate yourself to get things done. I’ve had a very hard time with exactly that, motivation. With school, and work, it is hard to get everything done. So I’ve had to use a lot of skills from our PGP course to help. Making to-do lists, tracking habits, it’s all really helped. The ideas that we’ve learned from that over the past two years have been incredible beneficial in this crazy time.

Did your goals for your work change as you worked on it?

Speaking of habits and PGP, I want to talk about our most recent PGP project, and how my ideas, and goals, changed as I worked on it. So, basically, as a summary of the project we were reflecting on all that we had learned from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Now, I started out wanting to make a little, like, vague habit tracking book, where you could have a physical place to mark off what you have done. But the I took another look back at atomic habits, and looked at the laws, and saw how I could incorporate more of those ideas into my journal. And once I had done all of that, I was pretty proud of myself. I took a flimsy little idea, and turned it into something I am really proud of. It became something that anyone, whether or not you had read the book, could use to help them with their goals.

What problems did you encounter? How did you solve them?

The final example that I’d like to bring up is the Macbeth project. This was probably one of the most difficult projects that I’ve ever done, and not even because of the subject matter. That was confusing an a whole other level. The difficult part was being the producer. I’ve always struggled with group work, because I find people weird and confusing, but this took it a step higher. As producer, I had to work with everyone, and not act superior, but also be their superior. We have some strong people in the class, and so already when roles were chosen there was a bit of strife. Add to that the fact that we basically had two and a half weeks to write, prepare and film the movie, well, I started stress baking. It was difficult to try and work with others who were very set in their ways. Our key creative team, though, did pretty well under the circumstances, though. We tried to solve disagreements in a calm manner, and spent a lot of time working through tough patches. We were pretty adaptable, and when everything started to fall apart I tried my darnedest to keep it together. Overall, I learned a lot about myself, and the other people in the class.

And that concludes my tPOL. Thank you for listening to me, and I would just like to leave you with a question: How have I demonstrated teamwork in the past, and how have I progressed since then?

I Don’t Know Why We Didn’t Call it the Scottish Play

Good morning. It’s not the morning when I’m writing this, but that’s not the point. Anyways, yes, right, the post. Over the past few months, starting in January I think, we’ve been reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It is a very interesting play within itself, and has many interesting themes. The one we studied was the idea of appearance vs. reality. This, through some unknown channel, was connected to our social studies timeline, and so we were basically studying the 1950’s, as well as a Scottish play from the 17th century.

This may seem like an odd connection, but there really are quite a few connections you could draw. That was one of our assignments, actually. We had to write blog posts connecting Macbeth and the 1950’s. It was definitely hard to start, but by the end of these posts, I think I had really done some good work.

Another big part of the unit were what we called ‘Act Quests’. Basically, while reading the play, we would have these test-like things where we would be given quotes from Macbeth, and have to: recount the events that took place before, during and after the quote, identify who said it and why it was important to the character and those it was said to, and how it relates to theme. These were definitely not easy. In PLP, we don’t have a lot of tests, which is why sometimes things like this can catch us off guard. We did do something similar to this in the LOTF project, but to a much lesser degree. Its definitely important to do things like this, to prepare for university and stuff, but it’s still not my favourite. I guess my biggest issue was putting too much information down, which makes sense, because I do tend to do info dumps. But overall, I think it was a really good practice in an area we sometimes don’t spend tons of time in.

Now, you might be thinking, well, these are only small parts of the project, they can’t be the final product. And believe me buddy, you’d be right. Also, if you’re familiar with past PLP Macbeth projects, you’ll know that there have been attempts at a class film adaptation of Macbeth. Notice how I say attempt. This has never worked. So of course we had to do exactly that. But it’s never that simple. We also had to set the movie in the 1950’s, and change it so it fits in that year. Goodie.

One of the things we stated with was trying to figure out a story outline. Everyone would try and come up with an idea on how we could set it in the 50’s. At first, we had grandiose ideas, like having it set in a mayors office, or during a presidential race. But we had to rethink, because we were going to be the ones acting, and we are children. I mean the in the nicest way possible, but nonetheless it’s true. We’re also not that great actors, but thats another issue altogether. We ended up going with a private school with a secret society.

Now came the really difficult part: deciding roles. This can either be a very big deal, or a very small deal. To us, it was big. I wasn’t sure what I should do, because although the whole class was working together, a group called the key creatives were mostly in charge of the movie. The key creatives were the people who everyone reported to, and were responsible more or less for the success. all the roles were similar to what would be on an actual movie set. The key creatives were the producer, who was head of everything, the director, who had the vision for the film, and the screenwriter, who, with a team, would write the film. We did add a fourth key creative, production manager, which was similar to producer, but in more of a day to day sense. I decided to apply for the producer, because though it is a lot of responsibility, I thought I could do a good job leading our class to success. Also, I had a vision on what the film could look like, and as a key creative I thought I could help with that part.

Applying for the positions was pretty stressful. First, we had to go home and write a pitch for what roles we wanted. After that, everyone who had applied to be a key creative had to, in class, write out their vision for what the film would look like. And… I got it! I was chosen to be the producer. But that’s not the be all and end all. Off the bat, I was told that I could be fired at anytime. I knew this beforehand, but that really put the pressure on. Not that I thought I’d do a bad job, but its kinda scary. The rest of the team was Giorgia as director, Jesse as screenwriter, and Luca J as production manager. A pretty solid team.

The next part was not fun. Being a key creative was difficult, but way more than I thought it would be. We had a very tight schedule as well, because we were supposed to have it done before spring break and we got our roles like, 2 and a half weeks before then. We had to cast, get costumes, props, write the script, and film in that small window. There were some fun parts, though. We had to find 50’s lingo for the script, which was fun, and reading around the tables was cool. There was a bit of drama around casting, and key creatives spent a lot of time outside of school trying to figure things out, but once we had the prep out of the way, we were more or less set to film.

That’s when things started to fall apart a bit. The teachers left for Vietnam with the grade 12s, so we were left completely on our own. But it was fine. We had a solid film schedule, and we were going to be fine. Everything was blocked in, and the first filming day went smoothly, mostly. I did end up having to be in the movie and sprained my ankle in the process, but we were adapting as things were thrown at us. Even when our Macbeth had to reschedule a shoot because he wasn’t feeling well, it was fine. We adjusted, and filmed everything we could without him. Except, he was still sick the next day. And when we thought he was getting better, and had everything set, he was sick again and wasn’t sure wether or not to come. The key creatives discussed, and said we needed to keep everyone safe and so we cancelled. This was a difficult decision, but it was for the best. We had got all we could without our main character, and everyone had worked so hard.

Then spring break hit, and we were working with what we had. The post production crew did a great job with what they had, and we planned to film the rest after the break. But, as you might have guessed, the break never ended. Well, it did, but you know what I mean. School was cancelled, and we were forced to accept what we had. It was really though to face. Being the head of a big project like this was a really amazing learning experience for me, and to see all that work not pan out was really sucky. Everyone tried their hardest, and though there were some hiccups, if it hadn’t been for the sickness of Macbeth, I think we would have pulled it off. Its dissapeointng, but I know how hard everyone worked, and the experience within itself was pretty cool.

I do have a theory on why it didn’t work, though. A dumb, superstitious theory, but still. So, when actors are putting on the play of Macbeth, they call it the Scottish Play. There are documented cases of when people didn’t do this, and then actors got sick or hurt. I just find it kinda fishy how it was Macbeth who got sick, and no one else. But that’s just the raving of some student. Who really knows?

Think and Create: Essay time

These think and create posts are harder than you’d think. We cover a lot of content, but it’s not always easy to find, or rather, come up with a feasible connection. I came up with this idea, actually, after talking to my grandpa about school when he was a kid in Vancouver, around the 50s. Drawing from his experience, the book Dear Martin, and our discussions in class, I have written an essay on segregation within unsegregated schools. It’s an interesting topic, one that I have found interesting opinions on.


Essay: Self Segregation 

       Throughout history, people have been judged by the colour of their skin. When you picture a racist, though, you can’t fully have an idea of what they look like. It’s not always white men with pitchforks in KKK get up. It can be parents, people drilling into their young child this idea of segregation. Sometimes it’s not even on purpose. Hate is easy, jointing a mob mentality can bring you closer with your peers. When people get to high school, in unsegregated schools, they sometimes segregate themselves, on purpose or not. It can be hard to notice, but from the 50’s, till today, it’s still there. 

In Dear Martin by Nic Stone, the main character is pushed in this direction of ‘self segregation’. He has internal struggles when he wants to date a white girl, for example. His mother, growing up in a time when it was very frowned upon for an African American man to be with a white woman, drills this idea into his head, until he makes decisions to push this girl away for his mother’s sake. Also, when his best friend is shot, he seeks comfort in his old, bad neighbourhood, wanting to be around people he thinks will understand. He separates himself from his best friends white friends, for other people like him who are bad influences. In both scenarios, he does understand the risk, but the racial pressures set upon him urge him towards a stereotype that will do him no good. He tries to do better, but this separate idea always comes to his mind. 

Although in the 1950’s in Vancouver schools were not segregated, people still divided according to race and ethnicity. In one example from Frank Ward, who went to a mainly white school with some people of East Indian descent, there was a very large culture barrier. The white boys and East Indian boys formed tight cliches, avoiding each other, but often getting into brawls. While this was surely discouraged by the teachers, the brawling part, it helped maintain the divide of culture, and this idea that a non-white man couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be with a white woman. Whether drilled into them by their parents, or the media, this idea would have shaped not only the boys in the cliches, but the younger students and siblings. It can be hard to change a behaviour you’ve never been told is wrong. 

After the Brown vs the Board of Education case was settled, and the United States declared that ‘separate but equal’ was not fair, integration of African American students into white schools began. Or it sort of did. There was nothing to say how soon this desegregation was to be done, and so it was up to the schools and communities to sort it out. One school that did integrate, though painfully, was in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nine African American students were enrolled to go to the school, but of course this was absolutely appalling to the white folk. There were riots and death threats as the children tried to enter the school, and the POTUS ended up having to send down the 101st Airborne Division to help them enter the school, but once they were in the school, they had no further help. The 9 students endured terrible abuse at the school, forcing upon them that they were not welcome to attend a school which the law said they could attend. They suffered for years because of this idea of segregation that had been drilled into the white children’s heads, that African American people were not people, and they had no respect for them.

This idea of segregation has done terrible damage to the world and its people, but it doesn’t seem to ever end. The stereotypes that were introduced then still impact our world today, shaping the minds of young children who know no better. Though having a rallying point is strong core of many communities, one so deep in hate should not be allowed. It can be hard to undo the past generations hate, but it is every generations job to learn about what happened before, and make sure it never happens again.


It is very hard to write an essay after being away from school for months, not to mention being in a room that smells like paint (long story). Essays are sometimes hard to do, but I felt is was a medium I could express these ideas on well. This is a very interesting project we are working towards, and each day teaches us more about the mistakes people have made and how we have to learn from them.