ITEOTWAWKI (pt. 2)

Salutations pt. 2

this is the second part to a unnecessarily large first part. For the nonexistent amount of people who read the second part first, you monsters, I just wrapped up talking about a step in yet another worldview projects, Its The End of The World As We Know It. The driving question was, and still is, how has the transition between elementary and secondary school challenged your worldview.

the fourth step that I took in this project was to create a Triple Venn diagram displaying both our view on how the transition has affected our worldview, how our peers feel about the matter, and the opinion of the professionals. My favourite part of this step was noticing the difference in worldview between me and my friends. Even though we are going through the same situation, little details make our expeirience that much different. I also enjoyed laughing at then opinions of the professionals, as the fact that they are graduated children really shows. Apparently we should all be printing the syllabi of the teacher to study. Learn from the professionals kids, learn from the professionals.

Numero cinq. The fifth step to be completed when it came to ITEOTWAWKI was a MindNode diagram. As you guys know from previous posts, me and the MindNode app are somewhat well acquainted. We had to base the MindNode on events that shifted our worldview during the transition between elementary and secondary school. For example, for those of us who had never taken the bus before attending Seycove, that would have been an event that taught us a lifelong skill, and possibly changed our view on taking public transit. I am not completely sure as to why this milestone was put after the Venn diagram, as this could have been a good exercise to brainstorm for the Venn Diagram. Possibly it was because the Venn diagram was the brainstorm for the MindNode? I personally felt like the diagram was more stressed to be proffessional when it came to comparison.

And finally. Ladies and gentlemen. Drum roll please. We have the final product! It took many drafts and many long nights to get here, it even took a large twist. But here I am, in one piece. To make a long story short, we began by studying the song closely, and dissecting sound and rhythm. We spent an entire day in class just underlining nouns, which now seemed slightly unnecessary, because we ended up changing every aspect, not just the nouns. After drafting our first round of lyrics, we went through the twenty minute critique process, where I was given feedback to ensure the lyrics answered the driving question. I had focused more on the way the lyrics fit the rhythm, and the meter, than I had the driving question! So because of these large imperfections, I made a second draft. This second draft definitely showed improvement, but I still lacked an answer to the driving question. What I mean when I say ‘answer the driving question, is my song must display all seven aspects of worldview, and just by listening to my song you should be able to pick up on my answer. What I wonder is, did REM have a driving question? Their song is quite abstract and slightly absurd. So what code of conduct did they follow?

It was at about this point that Ms Willemse thought it would be funny if she sprung a surprise on us. We had to turn our individual songs into a group song, and we had to create a photo album to go with it! With T-minus one week until the due date of this project, Angelo, Anders, Liam and I combined our lyrics into quite the mess. Ms Willemse, why spring the challenge on us? Not only do we have to sing, but we have to agree with three other people on our high school esxpeirience, which was again exercised in the Venn Diagram. Even the grade 11s who critiqued our songs agreed that was a little much.

Because of the contrasting personalities in my group, we especially struggled when it came to being off task. How we dealt with it was we did a lot of the work at home, increasing our workload. In the future, In might want to attempt to be a little bit less afaraid of speaking up, as I believe the reason that I was afraid was because I did not really know these kids, and I was worried about being seen as bossy. But if it comes down to taking charge or getting a good grade, I choose the A’s.

To please the masses, what I leaned from this expeirience was  when the world changes, tension is inevitable. In cultural exchange, this tension can be seen through people wanting to adopt new ideas and those wanting to preserve established traditions.
This is an important concept throughout history to understand – one that applies even today, to me and to everyone around me. Change is constantly happening everywhere around the world, and it is even happening within me, even if I don’t notice it. That and Ms Willemse loves giving my class lovely suprises (smell the sarcasm)

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night” – The Truman Show

World religions outside of the classroom

Salutations, companions.

By now I am assuming that most of you know my introduction like the back of your hand, so let’s cut to the chase shall we?

The last couple months in the best reality TV show, PLP 8 have been working their hearts out on a large ____ we like to call the Winter Exhibition. Leading up to this moment, we have been studying every aspect of religious worldview. From the basis of the Hindu religion to what the Buddhists ate for breakfast. The basis of our learning in this unit was on the beliefs, and mannerisms of different cultures, and the whys behind our findings. And what a better way to do this than to actually go and visit the locations of worship for these religions? Exactly. Nothing. And in the words of Kaden Douglas-Pluff, “because of being able to leave the class room, I learned three times as much as I ever would from a textbook”.

Often what separarates many of the worlds religions is its classification on a map. Eastern and Western. The worlds most densely populated Eastern religions consist of Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. These mark the first landmark for the PLP 8 Destination Worldview trip. We were tasked with respectfully walking around, and while admiring the landmarks while taking photos of all of the worldview aspects we saw around us.

The very first landmark that we visited was a Hindu temple. Some of the things which really stood out about the Hindu temple was the very modern style of the building, and just how traditional all of the interior designing was. It was definitly not what I was expecting to say the least. I noticed that there was continuing colour patterns throughout the temple, both red and yellow. If you were to look around you would also notice many statues. This is because Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, meaning they have many different gods. What I like about this style of polytheistic religion is that god takes many different forms, throughout all of these more minor dieties. And because of that, Hindus have the right to pray to whatever form of god they please. Maybe you relate the most to Vishnu, the god of peace and sustainer of life. My personal favourite god is Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. If I was Hindu, then I would pray everyday to my godess, Saraswati.

The second Eastern religion that we got the pleasure to visit was a Buddhist temple. What you would immediately notice about the Buddhist temple was that it was outside. They seemed to correlate all of their temples around a small kabota outside, which sits just above a river, telling me that they are very connected with nature, which makes sense considering that the Buddha reached nirvana by sitting underneath a tree for 49 days. The Buddhists believe in living a harm free life, which can be achieved by following the eight fold path, a series of commencements of a sort, which will help you lead an innocent life, so that when you reach the end you may enter nirvana, a state of eternal peace. I had several questions going into the Buddhist temple, including ‘why drove you to believe that the buddha reached nirvana?’ Something that I learned through the course of this project was that religion is not always driven by logic. But I had yet to learn this.

Our third destination was the Sikh temple. The Sikh religion is the belief in the the equality between all humans, and the harmony between man and allah, god of everything. Entering the Sikh temple is like walking out of stormy Raincouver and right through the gates of heaven. There is a large room at the back of the temple, which is dedicated to reading the guru Granath Sahib, the immortal guru. Can I please take a moment to applaud the ninth guru of the Sikh religion for nominating a  book to be his successor? I have never agreed with someone more. While we were visiting, the temple was being cleaned until it gleaned like the summer sky, as the birthday of guru Nanak was to be celebrated, and as celebration they read the book of guru Granth sahib for three days straight. The walls of the temple are lined with gold, and the red velvet carpet floors are more comfortable than my own bed. Not to mention that eh entire downstairs are of the Sikh temple is dedicated to being a soup kitchen. And the food is amazing! Long story short, I would happily go and live in the Sikh temple for the rest of my life.

And that wrapped it up for the Eastern religions. Next, we had to move on the Western religions.

What do you think all western religions have in common. If you guessed the fact that they were all western originated, then congratulations. Hopefully none of you got that wrong.

the very first location that we visited for our Western religions was a church. Christianity is the most widespread, and popular religion on this planet. It is an especially large part of North American culture. What the Christians believe is that there is a spirit who rules over us all, for He is so powerful his name is not to be spoken out loud. He looked down on this humble planet of ours and he must have thought to himself “wow these people really need my help”. So he bestiowed us with part of himself, or his son, only for his son to go and die on the cross. This is where the Christianity separates from Judaism.

I really enjoyed being inside the church, as everything was so symmetrical. I almost felt as if I was inside the ark of Noah. All around the nave stood tall and majestic statues of saints, who staples in Christianity. Something I learned from earlier studies of the subject was that a lot of the art that currently resides in churches is from the Renaissance. For example, the Vatican has most of the statues of Michael Angelo, an artist during the age. That is why I admired all of the paintings and the statues more than I normally would. Not to mention the fact that the top of the nave was surrounded by windows making me feel as if I heaven was pouring into the church

Our fifth destinatation was perhaps in my opinion the most beautiful, the synagogue. A synagogue is an Jewish place of worship. Judaism holds the same almost the same beliefs as the Christians, they believ in god and they will happily read the genesis chapter in the bible, but that is where the similarities end. The Jewish do not believe that Jesus was the son of god, and they believe that their lord an saviour is yet to come. When we went to visit a synongogue, the Rabi showed us the most prized possession of the Jewish religion, the Tora. The Tora and hundreds of years old scroll, which were written by hand and recount the exact words of god, which every weekend are to be read out loud for all Jews to hear. The Jewish synagogue is stationed directly above many intertwining creeks, which I believ signifies the religions connection to the earth. The synagogue is intertwined with the river just as the Jews are intertwined with nature. That is our simile for the day.

Our last destination on this wild trip was a Muslim mosque. Something that I immediately noticed after walking into this mosque was how starkly decorated it was compared to the other locations we had been to. This is most likely because when you go to a mosque, you go to pray. And nothing must get in the way between you and your connection to god. You must focus on praying. Praying is one of the six pillars of Islam, and perhaps the most important. Six times in each day any Islamic man or woman must drop what they are doing, get down in their knees and pray in the direction of Mecca, the Muslim holy land. While we were visiting the mosque we got to experience one of the six pray times during the day. Six or seven muslims filtered in and began this pattern of standing up, sitting down and chanting verses from the holy book, the Quaran. It was truly a neat sight to see, especially considering the fact that I had never seen a Muslim prayer time before.

Each of the religious sites that we visited was beautiful in its own way, had its own way of prayer, and celebrated the gift of life differently. The Hindu temple was so gorgeously decorated, and I could see that much attention was displayed specifically through the costumes on the statues of the gods. In the Buddhist temple we got to spend some time meditating, and connecting ourselves to our inner thoughts. All though I definitely enjoyed it, I really admire all of the Buddhists for being able to do that every day for their entire life. I was surprised by how generous and welcoming all of the Sikh people were, and their food was amazing! You have no idea how many times I have dragged my parents over there for lunch. The church was an enlightening experience, because even though I had been in a church before I had never actually learned the significance behind many of the statues, or all of the different rooms. You could say that going to the church actually changed my worldview when it came to the Christian religion. I could not help admiring the beautiful surroundings of the synagogue, and it’s really neat that within it are scrolls which are older than anyone I know. I admire how focused all of the muslims are as they pray, as if there were not 26 grade eights watching them. But something that all of these religions have in common is that they all want the same thing, to reach god, to reach peace and to obtain happiness. Considering that they are all from different parts of the word, born at different stages, they all tackle the task differently. The way that a these religions, and all people act differently in because none of us ill be the same, we will all be influenced by certain parts of our life, but the important part is to remember that we are all human, so therefore we have something in common. As fellow human beings we must support each other, yet continue to believe in what we believe.

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon good evening and goodnight” – The Truman Show

The end of a large project as we know it (pt. 1)

Salutations

What has it been, three weeks? That is twenty one days too long for me. In all of this spare time that I have had not writing on this blog, PLP as usual has been wringing me dry, so basically you have not missed much. Today marks the very last day of an era, as it is the end of a large project (as we know it). In case you live under a rock, the PLP 8 class has just finished a large term long project of worldview. Specifically, how has the transition between elementary and secondary school challenged your worldview.

This long and painful journey began around two months ago, and it began with a bang. Literally. I can clearly envision the day, walking into class only to see my Humanities teacher, Ms Willemse jamming it out to ‘Its the End Of The World As We Know It’ by REM. The entire class stared in confusion, as it was not every day that you see such a sight. Looking back at the moment now, I still wonder why she chose to leave us in such suspense. Luckily, we all got the explanation that we needed. We were going to be diving in to another spect of worldview, our own. As you may know, we just finished up a unit on the worldview of others, but for the naive of you, you can always read my Exhibition learning post for a bit of background. We spent three entire months (notice I highlight entire) focusing on the worldview of others. So you have the right to say that we were all done with the subject of worldview. Btu why did Ms Willemse decide to diligently pursue worldview? Most likely because this unit taught us to notice facts about ourself instead of just the world around us. And reflecting back on it now, I am glad that we studied it. But way back, centuries ago, I was not so happy about it.

The first step we took into this project was to study the process we would be completing. In order to do this, we became the sticky note industry’s best customer. We covered a large board at the back of our class in question regarding what materials we were going to cover: feudal society, to the Renaissance, to our past, all the way to the present. Many questions were asked, including “what is feudal society” and “what does this unit have to do with a song by REM”. Honestly I think that this was a very neat way to start the project, by making us ask questions instead of answering them. Although a neat thing to do, I believe that it my not have been effective as it could have been, as we got answers to our questions, but we were given no context for those answers. Even though this was the very first milestone our project, this left me with more confusion on my hands than I could handle, therefore rendering it on the bad list.

The next step that we took in this project was to launch into a large unit on the Medieval ages, all the way through the years to feudal society. In order to do this, we completed little tasks, consisting of studying the fearless Sultan of Egypt, Saladin during the seiges of Jerusalem and his relationship with Richard the Lion Heart. This had to be my favourite part of the project all in all, as I was really glad to include a bit of history in the project, a subject that I have enjoyed since I was young. But we did not solely study the way Medieval peasants went to the toilet for nothing. (Fun fact: during the Medieval times, there was no such thing as toilet paper, and no one had yet had the stroke of genius that was the toilet. Because of this, all of the servants on a plot of land shared a pee hole, and a square piece of makeshift price fo fabric used as toilet paper. Let that sink in. This is a disclaimer. If you ever find a time machine, never go back to medieval times, no matter how much you feel pressured, without a roll of toilet paper) This exercise was to encourage the idea of cultural exchange, and the shift of a worldview within one of the most transformative ages of humanity. During the feudal times, the economic exchange, and the mindset when it came to society altered in many different ways. The Persians started transporting spices, and the Europeans pubisized many fresh fruits, changing the way cultures around the world ate.

This age is a vary drastic, and exaggerated version of what a child transitioning into secondary school is going through. Of course some of the details vary, as no thirteen year old kid is learning to accept equality between all walks of people, but this is an age of adaption for us, and just as the worldview of feudal society is shifting through exchange, our worldview is shifting through exchange as well. It is always comforting to know that what you are going through was once expeirience by three billion people all at once. To emphasize this, each student had to write a paragraph on cultural exchange, from either the Muslim or Christian perspective. I chose to write about the Muslim, as I believe that most of my class was going to write from the Christina perspective, simple because there were entire websites dedicated to the subject, and I struggled to find even a paragraph on my subject. But looking back on it now, I am glad that I chose the Muslims. The muslims considered themselves an advanced society, that was until they encountered the Christians. The Christian army, though larger, was torn with illness and a war of its own between the army. Because of this, the Muslims had the upper hand, being swift and organized. But the Christians fought with such passion, their land was siezed. Form this expeirience, the Muslims learned to fight hard for what they wanted, and they eventually gathered an army, and fought with the speed and fervour of a middle aged woman named Debbie on Black Friday. This was an inspiring story, and because I chose to go more in depth with the Muslims, I would not be quite as inspired about fighting hard and welcoming change into my life.

Whew. You might have wanted to take a break after such a large paragraph. The third step we took in exploring worldview was to launch into perhaps one of my favourite parts, the book. We all know that I love a good book. An I got especially exited when I learned that it was a book called “Book of the Lion”, and it was by an author that I had never heard of. For a reason. The main idea of a book like “The Book Of the Lion” is Edmund is but a simple apprentice working for Otto, the coiner. Turns out Otto isn’t so simple, though, and has been hoarding silver from the king and making bad money. And since Edmund works under him, he is guilty by association. Blah blah blah Edmund runs away, find nice friend, gets recruited into the Crusades, riveting climax, our hero is left with a descision, and then the end. You see, you don’t even need to read the book now!

Five reasons I disliked Book of the Lion:

1. In my opinion, it paints a highly skewed picture of King Richard just for effect, which is very misleading

2. It combines some teen drama to attract an audience, i.e. he wants the girl but can’t have her

3. As an equestrian myself, I can prove that Edmund is not riding a horse conventionally. I can tell you that your legs are not supposed to hurt after riding, especially after riding a horse like Winter Star. FACTUALLY INCORRECT

4. It often paints too much detail. Some description is nice, but at some points I was done with it and had to take a break from reading, which is a bad sign

5. The author is really unpersnoal with his characters. I didn’t feel joyful for Edmund, I felt no exhilaration and at no pint did I pity him. This was most likely because the author, Michael Cadnum spent all of the time describing his surroundings, and he leaves himself no time to put his characters in a situation worth pity

Although I didn’t love this book, I still admired the way that the author handled the subject, and I found myself enjoying how gruesome it was at certain points. You should try the book out. Prove my five reasons wrong.

for the role sheets our task was to perform an act that reflected on the book, answered several questions and then creatively showed our learning. My favourite reflection that I did was named the “Investigator”, and I was to research something in the book that made me curious. Unfortunately, because of how much I enjoyed this book, I was feeling slightly uncurious, and struggled slightly with this task. The product that I eventually published was a website on Medieval punishement. Would you like to visit the website? Well unfortunately it is PG 13, therefore precede with caution.

Next week on ‘Ally complains about her project’, we have a part two for those of you who are still awake.

”Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight” – the Truman Show