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.

The Foundation Of Every Success

For my second TWIL post, I’m shifting my gaze from the political side of things, to the social aspect of both the 1950’s. More specifically, I’ll be focusing on the role of women, and how important they are to a household in both these time periods.

 

What does 11th century Scotland have in common with post WW2 America? How have women’s roles changed over the centuries? Why can’t men do their own laundry? Podcast time! Women’s roles during WW2 and post WW2 were drastically different. After working in factories for years while the men were away, manufacturing munitions and the like for the war, women were expected to go back to being house wives. And for the most part, they did. Only one third of the workforce in America were women. The rest were conforming to the ‘American dream’. This American dream, of 2.5 kids, a house in the ‘burbs, dominated the media. Society demanded this idea, and people, as they do, conformed. Women needed a husband, a house, somewhere to become this thing, this housewife. Men also needed a wife. Being a bachelor in the 1950’s was not a good idea. Being seen as a homosexual, at this time, was really bad. Whispers of communism were everywhere. By being someone who could be blackmailed into communism, you were at risk. So by obtaining a wife, this suspicion was gone. Of course, that’s just one reason they got married. In this American dream, the housewife literally held the house together. Cooking, cleaning, all of this was extremely important for the ‘successful man’. She was the support of the house, the support of the success. In Macbeth, Lady Macbeth really is that supporting wife. Macbeth sees her as an equal, calling her in the play ‘my dearest partner of greatness’. And yet, it is still her who prepares the house for the king, ordering the servants about in preparation for the occasion. In the 11th century, women had roles akin to the ones in the 16th century, as in the 20th. Lady Macbeth’s status brings her above many tasks, but she still runs the household. Lady Macbeth is also the support behind her husband, driving him forward alongside his ambition. Without Lady Macbeth, Macbeth wouldn’t be where he is in act 3 of the play. She supported his ideas, was counsel before the plot, created the plan for the murder. At each step Macbeth took forward, Lady Macbeth was right there with him. In both times, women were seen as the weaker sex, only capable of housework and the like. Lady Macbeth has to perform witchcraft, ‘unsex’ herself, to be able to perform the deed of killing Duncan. Women were the ‘innocent flower’ then, as they were in the 50’s. Though society moves forwards, some stereotypes move as well. In any case, both timelines need the support of the women, them, working behind the scenes, keeping everything together.

For this TWL, my artifact is a podcast. I brought this together using my GarageBand and sound skills we’ve been learning over the past couple years. Sound is one of my favourite mediums to work with, so this was a blast!

 

What a Wild Ride

Grade 10. What a year. I’ve learned so much. The biggest highlight of the year was probably the Circle BC trip. 

Circle BC was a 12 day road trip to some of the coolest places BC has to offer. From Vancouver, up to Prince George, over to Prince Rupert, with a 22 hour ferry ride back down the coast. This trip was also the inspiration for our Exhibition this year. As such, this post will talk about it all.

Circle BC

This trip was definitely the best PLP trip I’ve done so far. It was amazing to explore our province, and to see what it has to offer. As this was a 12 day trip, I’m only going to be talking about the highlights for me, but check out some of the other PLP 10 circle bc posts to learn some more!

Learning

The place that I learned the most at was Barkerville. We spent 2 full days exploring the heritage site, full with costumes and interpreters. We did a bunch of cool school-group things, like a court room session where Kai was on trial, and a school house lesson where all the girls had to wear bonnets! It was interesting to see BC’s past in this way. I was most interested in the gender roles, and how their were so many rules for women and what they had to wear. Learning by experiencing was why I wanted to join PLP, and this stop was full of that!

Reflected on Canada

This was a big one. There were many places that made me do a lot of this, including many of the First Nations focused stops. The biggest one, though, was probably the Port of Prince Rupert Interpretive Centre. It was there I realized just how much Canada’s exports mean to BC, and how many jobs this market creates. It also made me think about what we are doing to protect the environment with this, or really how little. Some of the technologies that you think would be so much more advanced, like devices to record sound pollution, are only just being installed now. The stuff that the ports are doing, while benefiting Canada and many Canadians, could be really screwing up our environment.

Place I’d Go Back To

Onto a happier note, the place is like to go back to is probably the Nass Valley. I learned so much up there, and there is still more to experience! One thing I definitely want to go back and do is the 3 km hike to see the crater. We didn’t do it in the trip due to time restrictions, but I think it would be so cool. After the hike, I’d want to go back to the Aiyansh Hot Springs, a natural hot springs. I’ve always really liked natural hot springs, so this was super cool. 

Most Fun

The most fun I had on the trip was definitely on the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Tour. First of all, it was on my birthday, so that was pretty great. Also, I learned I really like boats. It was a seven hour tour, where the boat took us to near the edge of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear sanctuary, where grizzly bears live completely untouched by humans. On the boat we were near, but not right at the reserve. We saw like 9 Grizzly bears, it was amazing! I’m really glad we were on the boat, though. Grizzly bears are huge. I had such a cool time hanging out with friends on the outside deck and looking for wildlife. 

On the way back to Prince Rupert, we saw 2 whales! It was awesome! We also saw seals, sea lions, and a whole bunch of eagles. That is a 16th birthday I will never forget! Oh, also, the teachers bought me a cake, so that was pretty cool too!

Exhibition

Now that I’ve rambled along about the trip, it’s time to get to the Exhibition. But first, here’s a podcast to introduce you to the idea. 

This podcast was done during the actual Circle BC trip. The first draft was actually due on the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver. So a lot of us, me included, did the editing and everything on the 22 hour ferry ride. Due to this, on our first drafts the audio quality kinda sucked. Luckily, though, I had been recording tons of audio from the trip, and was able to work that into the first draft. That made it better, in my opinion. This podcast was definitely something, man.

For the actual exhibition, as you may know, we have to have an artifact. So I had this idea, about First Nations Oral Traditions, but I didn’t know how to present this. I spent many hours trying to come up with ideas, and then finally, it hit me. 

I couldn’t tell the stories myself, because I don’t know the stories, and I didn’t want to mess something up, or have them be culturally appropriated. So instead, I decided to create something where people can find out where to learn about First Nations oral traditions. It’s actually on this very blog! 

I created a separate page, called First Nations Oral Histories Resources. On this page, which you can visit yourself, holds as much knowledge as I can find. Each nation has a labeled image, and when you click on it, it takes you to a post where you can find books and websites with First Nations traditional stories. 

Some of these were very hard to find. I did find at least one thing for each nation, but it was very difficult. I think this is because most First Nations stories are told orally, and many are specific to families. Because of this, many aren’t written down. 

I’m really happy with how this project turned out. Not only did I learn so much about First Nations oral histories, I mad something that people can visit and learn about them. I feel like this made an impact, no matter how small, and I really hope this will help people in the future.

The night of the exhibition went really well. Our groups theme was education, so we didn’t really have to do tons. I’m really proud of a couple things I did for our room, though. First, we wanted to have some sort of intro at the beginning. I wrote that, with some help from Ms. Maxwell, and it went at the entrance. How many people actually read it, I don’t know. 

The other thing I’m pretty proud of is my pencils. We were the education theme, so I wanted to give people something that was kinda educational. So we got pencils, and I got a bunch of places that we went to, and made them like little flags on the pencils, so people could get a pencil and learn about some of the places we went! Again, not a lot of people took pencils, but they made me happy!

If I were to go back and do this project again, with all the time in the world, I think I would have liked to contact each of the nations, and asked them if they had oral traditions they wanted to share, or if they knew of more places to find them. Maybe also putting these contacts in the post, so people could learn about the stories right from the people. 

The Canadian Experience

Canada. The wonderful, magical cold land of maple syrup and nice people. The thing is, stereo types aren’t very accurate. Although Canada is diverse, throughout history, and to this day, we haven’t always been very accepting of minority groups. In this project, we learned all about different minority groups, focusing on the Chinese minority in Canada in class, and separate minorities for our project. I’ll get to the main project later. First, we’ll talk about Chinese people in Canada, and specifically in Vancouver.

In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there were a lot of Chinese immigrants. The thing was, they didn’t want Chinese immigrants. So they enforced the head tax, where Chinese immigrants had to pay $50, to $100, to finally $500 to come into Canada. Once here, they were limited in location. In Vancouver, the Chinese could only live in Chinatown. It’s horrible to think about how hard these people worked to get to Canada, only to be forced to live in certain areas, experiencing Canada completely differently than any white person would’ve.

To deepen our knowledge of Chinese history, and Chinatown, we started reading a book called Jade Peony by Wayson Choy. The book focused around a Chinese family living in Vancouver’s Chinatown. There were three parts to the story, each told from one of the children’s perspectives. It was a very interesting book, and it was interesting to see the different perspective of someone, even though born in Canada, who was living a completely different life than, well, my grandpa. He grew up in Vancouver around the same time. The lifestyle differences were really crazy, and yet, childhood was still similar. Children playing soldiers, reading comics, the idealized childhood experience. 

Since we were learning all about Chinatown, our teachers thought it would be a great idea to take us to Chinatown. While there, we took a tour with the amazing Judy Lam Maxwell. We got to go into a bunch of really cool historical building, learn about Chinatown’s history, and talk to someone who grew up in Chinatown. While there, we made a podcast. Take a listen!

This podcast was different from others we have done in the past. The goal was to record sounds while on location. I found this very difficult. It was hard to know when to record, and when to be looking around, experiencing Chinatown. Overall, I learned a lot from this experience. The biggest this was probably to record as much as possible. Then, when it comes time to edit, you have a lot more to work with. 

Throughout this project, we’d been focusing on perspectives. To finalize the perspective piece, we had to write a positionality paper. It was basically an in-class essay where we explored how our positions impact our experiences with literature. 

I thought it was a really cool topic, and I had a good time writing it. Probably the most challenging part about it was the tone. It was a formal essay, but because it was kinda personal, we were also writing in the first person, using I. We’ve never done it before, so that was probably my biggest challenge. 

Now, finally, we can get to the project of the unit. As we do in PLP 10, it was a podcast. In groups of three or four, we had to research a minority group in Canada to see how they experienced Canada differently. Our minority group was the LGBTQ+ community. Since that is very broad, we decided to focus on three identities within the LGBTQ+ community, those being Pansexual, Bisexual, and Asexual. We wanted to focus on these groups because along with discrimination outside the LGGBTQ+ community, there is also a lot of discrimination towards these groups inside of the LGBTQ+ community. 

For our podcast, we had the pleasure of interviewing Yvette Narlock, an openly queer person at Seycove. It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much. Our podcast is so much better because of her.

This was a really cool experience. Along with learning a bunch about the LGBTQ+ community, the Chinese community, and minorities in Canada, I also got to work on my podcasting skills. I’m still not amazing at podcasting, and this was far from perfect, but I think it went really well. For the future, I will be really aware of audio levels. Other than that, I’m really proud of our work!

Ep. 6 – Abigail Foulds and Frank Ward

 

2019 marks the 74th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Even though that seems like a long time, it really isn’t. We still have people greatly impacted by it in our society, with stories about the harsh time. Through these stories, we were able to determine the Legacy of WW2 in Canada.

This project was the study of World War Two, but also the introduction to a new medium that we will now be using more often: sound. This was a podcast project, the first of many. And as this was a sound-based project, we had to do a lot of prep. In maker, we worked with GarageBand to learn how to make music, and manipulate sound. That was fun. GarageBand can be a bit fickle sometimes, but as with everything, practice makes perfect. 

As an introduction into the unit, we had to come up with questions based on images from world war 2. As a group, a lot of our questions were based around Hitler, which was interesting. A lot of my questions were based around the scientific breakthroughs that occurred during the war. As bad as War is, it always pushes the world further, trying to figure out the next best way to kill each other. 

As I mentioned before, this project was a podcast based upon the idea of the legacy of WW2 in Canada. And what better way to do that than to talk to people who actually lived though the war! Our fearless humanities teacher got in contact with the Memory Project, which put us in contact with people who were alive during the war, wether they were veterans, or lived in Europe through the war. We were then put into groups of 3, where we would go interview the people. I was in a group with Maggie and Daniel, though only Maggie and I were able to actually meet our person. Our person was Abigail Foulds. Abigail lived in Holland during the Second World War, and met her husband, a Canadian medical officer, soon after the war. They moved to Canada and got married. It was an amazing experience to meet her.

I also talked to my grandparents for this assignment. My grandfather was born during the depression, so he lived during the war in Canada. My grandma, on the other hand, was born at the very beginning of WW2 in Britain. She had to be sent away from her home to avoid the blitz, which would’ve been terrifying as a young child. In my podcast, I interview my grandpa about living during the war, sine my grandma could remember much.

Throughout all this project work, we were also having mini lessons about big turning points of WW2. I talk about two of these turning points in a podcast that was a mini assignment.

It was difficult at first using GarageBand to edit all the clips together. Other than the little strange assignments we’d get in maker, we hadn’t done much work with it. But what I’ve come to realize is that it’s basically iMovie, which we’ve worked with a lot. It’s just sound instead of images. I’ve also come to realize that I’m way better at editing sound than I am at editing together images and video. My draft one was okay, but I really had to work on my editing because I kept stumbling over my words and trying to edit them out afterwords.

Honestly, I’ve really learned a lot from this project. It’s probably the work I’m most proud of, like ever. Other than the sound of my own voice, which is hideous and awful. I really look forward to working with this medium more and more!

Gerald and Norbert!

So for this week’s task, it was kinda interesting. We had either a week to catch, up or a free choice. I decided to do free choice because I’ve finished all the other ones. And I also decided to make an animation!

This is a story about Gerald and Norbert. Gerald and Norbert are in love, and, well, anyways, just watch the video. 

I made this using a super simple tool called FlipaClip. It’s very user friendly, and you get to make awesome little animations. For the music I used Splice, and voila. Now you can make your own animations!

Live Loops!

This past week, we’ve been working with a medium we haven’t really in the past: Music. 

Garage Band is a really cool app where you can make awesome music. It’s really simple. You just go to garage band, create a new project, and go to live loops!

Once you’re in live loops, you can play around with it. You honestly can’t make a mistake. Anyone can make music using live loops. I really like the Rock loops.

One really awesome way to customize your songs is to add different loops to it. You can add different instruments, sounds, and even vocals to your tracks.

To make my song, I used the Rock loops. Adding different sounds, I customized it to make my own great tune!

I had a lot of fun with this project. Now that I know how to make easy music, I can enhance my videos even more.