🗳How Should We Govern Ourselves?🗳

    In my 4 years in PLP, I haven’t seen failure as the end of the world. The same goes for the past 6 weeks. Posed with the question, “how should we govern ourselves?” we’ve been building an answer using newfound knowledge and systems, emphasis on new. The video above is the official press release for the Egalitarian Party of Canada. Getting to that final product required my know it all self to become more flexible and accept that, in fact, I do not know all there is to know about the Canadian government. I knew so little, I was barely scratching the surface. My immediate confidence in my ability to answer the driving question plummeted at the realization that I had an immense lack of understanding of the inner workings of our government. Of course now, weeks after the fact, I can provide an elevated answer to the driving question. 

 

 

Our Press Release v.s.

 

 

 

 

The Liberal Party’s Press Release 

 

 

The Egalitarian Party, founded October 2021 by myself, Fraser H, Kaia R, and Emily M in our PLP classroom is what you could call a very basic foundation of a real world political party. We spent time brainstorming, or rather repeating ourselves time after time in an attempt to verbalize our individual values, and examine them under a government lens. In my post on our press release, I went into detail on a few of the big aspects of our parties plan that stood out to me. I believe that those aspects are what our current government is missing. Reflecting upon that opinion, I see how liberal and socialist my beliefs come across. There is still a lack of understanding of the economic, typically “conservative,” side of our government that I can build upon in future. 

   Tracing back even further, our first milestone took place hours after the 2021 election results were announced. It was my job to reflect upon said results and demonstrate an understanding of how the Canadian government works. As I said before, my lack of deeper knowledge on this particular subject (6 weeks ago) was rather upsetting. When doing research on our government structure and the electoral system, I found that I became better and better at forming an opinion on the election and providing evidence to back it up. This was the foundation for my entire understanding during the project, and my ability to draw ideas from other sources in milestones like my press release and even the campaign video came along with it. Like any PLP student, I try to utilize the sources provided to us as much as possible, but sometimes they just don’t hit that note in my brain that sparks sophisticated ideas. This is why our newest system has been beneficial so far. 

   Niklas Luhmann paved a new path for academics seeking to have a structured and organized notes system. We’ve only just been introduced to this concept called the Zettelkasten. Essentially it comes down to being able to make connections between random tidbits of information that seemingly have zero similarity. Now if you’ve known me for a while, or have read this blog at anytime in the past, you might be aware of the fact that I am not the most organized person so to say. For years I’ve been working towards solutions for problem areas and honestly the Zettelkasten, while tedious at first, seems to be an extremely beneficial way for me to process past ideas and transfer them into posts like these.

   All in all, while I do feel that this project wasn’t a peak moment, it also wasn’t a weak one. I think that as a class and in our groups, we may have missed the mark by a bit when it came to our campaign videos. Nonetheless my biggest takeaways have been very personal to my learning. I feel that I can provide sophisticated and well thought out answers to questions like, “how should we govern ourselves?” and back them up. All of the work I’ve done over these past weeks has been the answer to the driving question. It’s difficult to summarize in one sentence, and I’m in no way hitting the political target, simply because there isn’t one. Politics are messy, and involve a multitude of opinions and when you think about it, answers to our question. Any citizen that chooses to vote, has an opinion on how we should govern ourselves and conveys it in casting their vote. I’m so grateful and excited by the fact that by the next federal election, I’ll most likely be eligible to vote. Our right to it is fundamental to how we actually do govern ourselves. Our voting system may be outdated, but as time goes on change is a must. It’s up to every Canadian citizen to govern our country, maybe not literally as we have a parliament for that, but in the small acts, like voting for the change you want to see in your community and all of Canada. 

Thanks for tuning in

– C

⚖️The Egalitarian Party of Canada⚖️

   Vote EPC! Do it. I dare you. Kidding, kind of. Welcome to my political persuasion post. Again, I’m half kidding. Over the past week we’ve (Fraser H, Kaia R, Emily M, and myself) thrown together a campaign for a party that is embedded with our beliefs and values. The Egalitarian Party of Canada is determined to better our country for the future. I know how that sounds, like literally every other party. 



   The term egalitarian refers to the belief in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. Our press release, which by the way you’re the first to see public, is a concise description that we hope clearly gets our focus across. What separates us from all the other parties, those with drastically different views, and those with views so similar you can barely tell the difference, is our 3 big ideas. 

  Source

   In recent years, we’ve seen increased diversity in governments, the thing to remember is that we’ve basically started with the majority being old white men, so increasing from there isn’t hard. What we’re promising is the opportunity and education for minorities that we and Canadians think need to have larger, stronger voices in the government. For example, the lack of Indigenous peoples in our government, most obviously the federal government, is appalling. An example of what we’re looking to do comes from the government system in New Zealand, where they set aside a certain amount of seats in their House of Parliament for the Māori community. If we guaranteed seats in Parliament to Inuit, Métis, and/or First Nations, we’d finally have the much needed representation in Parliament. Mind you, this is only one example of the kind of increased diversity we are determined to implement, there’s much more to be done. 

Source

   Circling back to the multitude of old white men in Parliament and our federal government, we also have an electoral system older than all of them. First past the post voting has been in action for every Canadian election ever. 1867-2021, every single election. The EPC thinks a new electoral system is long overdue. Proportional representation is nothing new in the media. In Trudeau’s original 2015 campaign he stated that he would change to proportional representation as soon as possible. Obviously that has yet to happen, but we are determined to implement it as soon as possible. One of my group mates or more professionally, fellow members of the EPC, Fraser, wrote a post on proportional representation and it’s a great reference if you want to dive deeper. 

geralt / Pixabay

 

   Last, but certainly not least, we don’t want to increase taxes on the rich, at least not as much as other parties plan to. For what I guess are logical reasons, many parties are very clear on their plans to tax the ultra rich, but if we’re speaking literally, there are less than 20 “ultra rich” people in Canada. Even if they just want to tax those who are in the highest tax bracket, why not give an option. The EPC believes that instead of simply taking from upper class citizens we should encourage philanthropy. The money can either end up in government programs through raised taxes, or through charity. People like to know where their money is going, with the ability to donate to social programs, a concept that already exists, we feel no need to raise taxes to the extremes. 

nattanan23 / Pixabay

   Now that you know what makes us stand out, and have more in depth information on our plan, I’m sure you can see why we’d make a great government. We have strong beliefs and stronger plans to implement what Canada needs. In my last post, I spoke about the disappointment I felt in the lack of change the 2021 election brought us. Trudeau simply wanted more power and to work less with other parties. With the increased diversity and proportional representation we are determined to implement, we can ensure that after an election, Canadians won’t feel disappointment, rather a sense of security and equality for all our voices. Vote EPC. 

– C

👟Canada’s New Shoes👟

 

 wnk1029 / Pixabay

Good morning and welcome back to my blog. It’s been a long 104 day hiatus but alas, I have returned. I have been asked to give an opinion, an explanation, and a representation in this post. The big picture here has everything to do with the Canadian government and our recent federal election. A quick backstory, 6 weeks ago Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for the Governor General to dissolve parliament in order to hold a 2021 election. In 2019, Trudeau won his second term as leader of a minority government, meaning he lacks enough seats in the House of Commons to have a majority. His plan of action to gain the missing seats was this election. While he did come out the other side with a win, he had not obtained the majority and therefore left a large population of Canadians dissatisfied and angry at the waste of $610,000,000. Personally I believe that there is really only one option left for Trudeau. 



   The Canadian government is a parliamentary democracy, a constitutional monarchy, and a representative democracy. That seems like a complex system but I understand it much more than I will ever understand the USA’s electoral college. To jog your memory, or even just introduce the concept to you, I’ve linked a video explaining parliamentary democracy (in BC)  below. 

   Now what I mean when I say we’re also a representative democracy is very simple. The 5/6 Canadian parties stretch across the country and have representatives in each of our ridings. There are 336 ridings across the country, each with a representative for each party (minus the  Bloc Québécois which is typically Quebec driven.) It’s safe to assume that my liberal representative (re-elected on Monday) is very different from one in Manitoba or New Brunswick. The representatives are focused on working with the citizens in their riding, not the entire country, making it difficult to judge and dismiss parties as a whole during federal elections. 

Source: nsnews.com

   The part of our government that defines us as a constitutional monarchy comes from the fact that Canada is still apart of the British Commonwealth. This simply means that our head of state is none other than Queen Elizabeth II. While the monarchy doesn’t have any real power over our government (thanks to our constitution,) we do need a representative of the Queen to sign off on things such as federal laws. 

WikiImages / Pixabay

   Now that that’s all cleared up, back to my opinions on the way the election played out this past Monday. Personally I’m not happy with the result. I was hoping for some change in Canada and not a complete waste of millions of tax-payers dollars. For the past nearly hundred years Canada has been voting either Liberal or Conservative and this lead to years of strategic voting throughout the country. The only real way we can stop the rivalry between those parties is to bring in a new one. I personally support the NDP and while I’m underage and can’t cast my own vote I don’t see the need for strategic voting anymore. Perhaps my most controversial opinion, one that I’ve talked about with some adults in my life, is that if Trudeau really wants the majority government, why not combine with the NDP? The parties have very similar beliefs and while they tend to have drastically different action plans, politics and democracy is about the betterment of the country and population overall. While I’m not a politician I don’t see why this isn’t a viable option. The NDP has enough seats to make the Liberals a majority, and if they chose to combine I think that we’d finally reach a good balance between the handing of a lot of major issues. 

   The result of the election was scarily similar to the last election in October of 2019. The numbers differ ever so slightly. The Liberals gained one seat, the Bloc two, the NDP one. The Conservatives lost two and the Greens lost one. The election was so similar and possibly the worst thing about it is that minority governments don’t typically last more than 2-3 years. Usually they try to take more power than they have and the government collapses and the need for an election is evident. We have managed to make it not even a full 2 years into Trudeau’s government (his second term) before he called this election, and there was nothing wrong. All in all this election really frustrated me and seemed extraordinarily pointless. Perhaps the only good thing I saw was the student vote in my riding electing the NDP. That makes me very excited to see how our government develops in the near future when myself and like minded people can vote.

See above: comparison of 2019 vs 2021 election results

( 2019, 2021 )

 

That’s all for now,

– C

🪀Doin Real Swell🪀

 

20th century Canada was a time and place of growth and expansion as a society. The resolution of Second World War was cause for abundant new industries, economic inflation, and a step towards a progressive society. You’d think the war would’ve been enough of an obstacle for humanity to overcome, but despite the desire for peace, the 50’s were lacking. When questioning what was so great about the 50’s, you may think more along the lines of the underlying racism, sexism, homophobia, and overall discrimination. In all honesty the 50’s were anything but progressive in a social and societal aspect. But with the lack of development socially, there was room for technological, scientific, industrial, economic, and suburban advancements. In these past few weeks, my class has been challenged to answer the question, “how did Canadian life develop after WWII?” Over the course of the project we found our answers, and they tend to differ quite a bit from peer to peer. If you’re unaware of what I mean, check out some of my previous posts about my ongoing podcast channel, Totally Awkward Random. 

ArtsyBee / Pixabay

   The goals of this project were for us to publish our final podcast episodes, build an understanding of continuity and change, and discuss, listen, and speak. The cherry on top was our connection with the Deep Cove Heritage Society, who provided resources and interviewees that helped us understand what the 1950’s were like in our home. One of the earliest assignments was an archival interview for the DCHS with an assigned interviewee. I interviewed a longtime Deep Cove resident, Michael Smith. The interview was successful and probably the most heart warming I’ve ever done. During our conversation he went on about his wife and their life together which resulted in full blown heartache on my end. Luckily for me, I later interviewed the woman in question, Michaels wife, Eileen Smith. My interview with Eileen was specifically for my latest podcast episode (which you can listen to if you click box above). She having lived in the cove for her entire life made her the ideal interviewee to pose with a question regarding the continuities opposed to he changes seen in the Deep Cove area. This interview really helped me learn more about my podcast topic, as well as gain some further insight on the physical and emotional sides of continuity and change in a community. 

Gallant Ave 1920’s

   Discussing, listening, and speaking. All basic human skills taught and learned in a classroom. Typically you’d think this is more kindergarten to grade 4 type of competency. But no, you’d be so very wrong. This competency was actually an opportunity for my grade 10 self to shine. I like to think of myself as an avid participant in my PLP environment. This is why online school was so devastating for me. I find that I work best with my peers, in groups, and on in class assignments. I also happen to be a bit of a personality, so I find presentations rather enjoyable, and when I’m enjoying myself, the work only gets better. Our third milestone along the project path proves my point very well. The assignment itself was to further elaborate and give context to our chosen podcast episode topics and connect them to our other competency, continuity and change. I found that this piece of evidence really allowed for me to have creative liberties and go off leash while keeping our relevant topic in the mix. One of my favourite things about this project was the amount of presenting, even just quick in class keynotes allowed for me to work on some of the flaws in my presenting skills. 

   The post war years themselves were abundant with new industries, population growth, the rise of suburbia, and much, much more. One of the last stepping stones along our project path was a written response to the driving question. I won’t go into as much detail as to not bore you, but the general idea was that it was the culmination of all we’d learned about the 50’s. Where I pulled my knowledge from was the everything we’d learned in class, and the pieces of media provided for our understandings. The most notable being an episode of CBC’s Back in Time for Dinner and the 1998 movie Pleasantville, yes the one with Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. It was very educational. In all seriousness, the underlying themes of both these examples evened the playing field in reminding us that the 50’s were great but also absolutely terrible. What made the 50’s look so perfect on paper was the decades before. Racism, sexism, discrimination, and oppression look fantastic compared to a global economic depression and a couple World Wars. That aside I think that the written response and media used to fuel my thinking really contributed to my understanding of this era of Canadian history.      

Back in Time for Dinner

Pleasantville

   Nowadays, Canada is a first world country, a desirable place to be, and a country filled with lasting prosperity. Our economic stability and progressive society is partly accredited to the developments made in the 1950’s. While the previously stated fact that the 50’s were all but progressive is true, there were changes that were steps in the right direction. My ability to come to this conclusion is mostly in part to the topics and assignments discussed in this post.  Don’t forget to have a listen to my 1950’s episode and even check out my classmate Matthew Telford’s latest as well! He also interviewed Eileen Smith and she makes for a fantastic listen! 



   As always, thanks for reading!

   

🏎The Pixar Theory: Are Cars Alive?🏎

The hold Disney Pixar has upon my childhood is honestly ridiculous. As an early 2000’s child, I was raised in the prime of Pixar and hold each film dear to my heart. So what did I do, I made a (2 part) podcast episode on the Pixar Theory. Now writing a whole post explaining the theory when I’ve already produced 2 podcast episodes on it is probably a waste of time, so instead I’m going to dive deeper into one specific part of the theory that I skimmed over in the podcast. Whatever the heck happen with Cars. This post will obviously contain spoilers for the podcast episodes so I recommend that you go listen to those first!

lflores_f8 / Pixabay

   It’s a few hundred years after the human race has abandoned the earth, Wall-E is happening but not quite to the point of the climax of that movie. Instead we’re at the point where Cars have come to life. The idea isn’t that they’re crazy mutants so no need to get all freaked out. Instead we think of it as them having adopted their previous owners persona. Several of the characters are based on real life people, more specifically, NASCAR racers. The best example is Doc Hudson. The Hudson Hornet was a real car and dominated the race track in the post war years. They were revolutionary for their time and yet were only produced for four years before being overtaken by brands like GM, Chevy, and Ford. The driver that Doc is based on was Herb Thomas who drove a Hudson Hornet. This is great evidence that the cars do adopt their owners persona. This point also goes to explain how the new generation of cars continue to overtake the old ones. The entire plot of Cars 3 is Lighting McQueen trying to stay relevant and keep winning when the new generation of cars hits the track. The older the car, the sooner it’ll come to life. 

trent_garverick / Pixabay

   To counter this point entirely, we can also assume that the cars are sort of alive. Philosophically, they have thoughts, goals, and lives, so they are alive. Biologically speaking, could they have functioning systems? It’s a complicated question that really only leads to more questions. What we do know is that cars come from more than just their humans and pre-existing. While some of the car absolutely come from that, other characters talk about growing up. England has a car monarchy in Cars 2, and we see a racers mother in the stands. So how exactly do cars, have more cars? I really couldn’t tell you exactly, but I can point out that the cars are like humans in the fact that they search for romantic relationships and have gendered washrooms. I’ll leave deciding what that means up to you.



   Overall, the Cars part of the Pixar Theory is probably one of my favourites and is by far the most confusing. If you want to learn more, obviously go listen to my podcast (part 2 of the Pixar Theory is linked below), and I highly recommend sources like SuperCarlinBrothers on YouTube!

Thanks for reading!

🕺🏼Teen’s in The 50’s🕺🏼

   Hiya! I’m doing swell if you were wondering. I honestly find keeping the 1950’s idioms present in my English very difficult which goes to show how much slang has changed since the 50’s. Today I’m going to go over some of the 50’s slang that I’ve seen in media and heard in class during our time learning about the era as well as talk about what teenagers could have been like back then. 

“Grease”

   If you’re like me and have a secret love for musicals, chances are you’ve seen the 1978 musical staring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, “Grease.” The movie is set in the 1950’s in a youth and high school setting. It really gives a great perspective as to what high school might’ve been like back then. The main characters are separated into a boys gang and a girls group, the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies. The term Greaser(s), was commonly used to represent a group of teenaged boys, more specifically the “troubled,” ones. The name is fitting considering the persona of the T-Birds in the movie, all tough and popular, minus the singing. This film is full of more mature content which isn’t typically associated with the 1950’s. Characters are described as the Ginchiest, a term that does not roll of the tongue despite it being a compliment. If you get called the ginchiest guy in school, it means you’re the coolest. Why they couldn’t just say cool is a mystery to me. Grease is a very odd movie in my opinion because it really contrasts with the picture perfect idea of the 50’s that I’m used to.

“Pleasantville”

   To entirely counter Grease, another film set in the 50’s is Plesantville. My class watched this to tie off our 50’s project and I must say that it is the completely bonkers. The movie takes two 90’s teens back in time to the picture perfect 50’s town, which they destroy. Eventually everything is fine again but the contrast of values and beliefs is really evident. Both Grease and Pleasantville are centred around teen lives. Grease goes all out with the more rock n’ roll, rebellious type of teen, while Pleasantville starts out with teens taking a stroll up to lovers lane and ends with them playing back seat bingo (more 50’s slang). I think that the contrast between two movies or even just Grease and the start of Pleasantville really highlights that the 50’s are kind of deceiving. We may see the era as picture perfect and as if there was no rebellion or rule breaking, but Grease disregards that entirely. It’s hard to say which was more real. 



   In conclusion, the lives of an average teenager in a suburban town in the 50’s were either really conservative, or complete anarchy. Maybe that depends on the family values and the setting but either way I’d really love to know which was more common. A few of my peers happen to have podcasts on teen lives in the 50’s. Check out Ben Dinh and Alex Veitch’s blogs and podcasts!

Thanks for reading!

🎡Disneyland Needs Some Work🎡

  Disneyland has been a family favourite in my house for years. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve set foot in that park, it’s kind of ridiculous. But what is it that has continuously drawn my family into the magic of Disney year after year? The bliss, the idealism, the feeling that nothing can ruin a day at Disney? Disneyland was created in Walt Disney’s picture of perfection, and anyone with a basic understanding of the 1950’s in the Western World could easily guess that the park was dreamt up during that era. 

HenningE / Pixabay

   The 1950’s are often seen as the ideal era to have lived in. I’ve been trying to think of how to describe the decade without overusing the words “perfect or ideal.” In doing so I’ve thought about what the 50’s followed. WW2, arguably the biggest historical event of the 20th century, and the turning point in modern society. The 50’s were all about obtaining the American Dream. It was about prospering in new ways and industries, changing the lives of millions and enforcing standards as to what a family, man, woman, and child, should look like, do, and say. Imagine being a person with no understanding of how we have developed since the 50’s, from that lens, it seems like the perfect era to live in. Obviously that is not the case but that’s not what this post is about. I’m here to explain the one piece of the 50’s that is still abundant today. The aforementioned Disneyland. 

ArtsyBee / Pixabay

  Looking back on the previously stated idealism, bliss, and joy that Disneyland provides and relating it to the fact that the park was opened in 1955 allows for some critical thinking. If the 50’s were all about maintaining the magic, is Disneyland not the best example of that? The happiest place on earth is worry free, a place where all your problems disappear, and it continues to hold that standard 65 years later. Now, as an educated individual, I can recognize the multitude of changes that society has had since the 50’s. Some of the most relevant being rights and freedom granted to women and people of colour. Obviously we still have A LOT of work to do in the area of justice for POC, but since the 50’s there has been much progress. Where this relates to Disneyland is in the fact that the parks still have racist tendencies. The most recent examples of racism being “removed,” from Disneyland is in the refurbishing of Splash Mountain. The attraction first opened in 1989 and was based off the 1946 film, “The Song of the South.” The film is now unavailable due to it’s racist and discriminatory themes. The ride is now closed for refurbishment that stared in mid 2020 during the parks closure due to the pandemic. It’s taken over 40 years for Disney to address the racism in the popular attraction, but now it’s being themed after the 2009 film, “The Princess and the Frog,” which happens to be Disney’s first and only Black princess. 

UnratedStudio / Pixabay

   While Disney has done a fantastic job of maintaining the magic of the 50’s, they didn’t get the memo that racism and discrimination was a problem for a little too long. I’m glad they’re taking necessary action now and glad to see diversity across the Disney corporation. All in all, bringing the magic of the 50’s to a modern audience year after year is a wonderful thing, but maybe leave out the real world issues while your at it.

In Summary, Romeo Needs a Therapist and Anti-Depressants

But don’t we all… 

Good morrow reader, and welcome to my first summative portfolio post of 2021. Over the past 5 weeks, the PLP 10 class has been working towards a production unlike any other. Somehow against all odds we managed to pull off a radio show version of Shakespeare’s. “Romeo and Juliet.” What exactly did that entail, well I could go on forever. I can confidently say that this was the biggest project of my grade 10 year so far and with that comes growth. Let’s dive into my reflection on said growth and how I’ve gotten to that point with the help of this project!

   The driving question asked us how we could bring our own presentation and adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for radio to life, in order to help a modern audience appreciate the relevance of Shakespeare in present day. Personally I think we succeeded, not only in bringing the play to life, but also in preaching the relevance of Shakespeare. Starting off with milestone 2. Before this milestone, I had created 3 podcast episodes, each of them solo and in an informative style. Our task for the second milestone, was to answer the question, “What makes a classic?” The best part came in how we had to present our answer,  a co-hosted podcast episode. My group mates, Angelo and Brenton, and I sat down and had a recorded discussion on the topic. The conversation was fantastic in the fact that we managed to integrate our individual podcast topics as well as the idea of Romeo and Juliet, and the answer to the question, “What makes a classic.” Over the past few years I’ve gained tons of experience in recording and making something out of unscripted conversations and material. Since we knew what we had to discuss and how we had to maneuver the conversation, the results were better than I expected. I personally prefer making a co-hosted podcast rather than a solo one. I really loved having the option to use other peoples voices, thoughts, and ideas to help prove my point or answer the question. It does require LOTS of meticulous editing but it makes for a better episode.

   On the flip side there are things I learned from the making of the co-hosted episodes. Like don’t leave editing to the last minute, and plan your conversation but don’t script it. There’s definitely a sweet spot and I’m not sure that I’ve hit it yet, but that’s a goal for the next one. 

   Now moving into a second “phase,” of this project. Our live radio show. I kid you not the level of stress this production instilled in me was through the roof. Despite that I survived and actually had a lot of fun. Our class was divided into four teams, which in the end almost proved useless but was practical for the beginning. Down to one week pre-performance and we all had roles, with the exception of myself and 2 of my peers. Cut even closer to the show and I was given a new job. Re-write the script, two days prior to the performance. 🥲. I did it, successfully might I add and with the help of my classmate Meg. While it was taxing on my sleep schedule, or lack thereof I was very happy with how it turned out and the production was a success. On a more reflective note, I learned a thing or two from this experience. The first being that, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, can fall apart or simply not work even down to hours before a presentation. I’ve been in similar situations before with projects like DI, but this was different in a sense. The fact that the story made zero sense instilled so much panic and yet I was able to pull through. The second big thing I came out of this final production with, was my understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare in 2021. If you know me personally this might seem biased as I am a humanities driven person, but in all honesty, I’ve seen many adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, and my ability to analyze and further understand them is a fantastic skill to have.

   All in all, this project was one for the books. I’ve come out the other side with a greater understanding of how Shakespeare’s works have become classics and are adapted all the time. I didn’t even know that one of my all time favourite movies is simply an adaptation of “The Taming of the Shrew.” But that’s all for today and thank you for reading!

Ciara

❤️Shrek and Juliet❤️


   Hello and welcome back! It’s been what? A year (please laugh.) Anyways as it’s hardly two weeks into 2021, I’m beginning to realize 2020 put on a pair of sunglasses and disguised itself as a new year. With the storming of the US Capitol and Kim and Kanye breaking up within the first 6 days it’s very clear we’re in for one hell of a year. But all that aside, I’ve entered this year with a fresh, more optimistic mindset. Then again I said the same thing going into 2020 and look at how that went. But the ups and downs of my previous year and the resolutions I have going into the next are not today’s talking points. It’s been one week since returning to school after winter break and we’ve already studied almost half of Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet, as well as produced a co-hosted podcast discussing the topic as well as what makes a classic. I determined that a classic is a timeless something. I know, vague. But I will not apologize for that. A classic can be defined differently for everyone. As I said in the podcasts discussion, a classic can be anything that continues to hold its relevance year after year. It’s timeless and typically has a message that stays important enough for modern or younger audiences to understand. This is why Romeo and Juliet is such a good example of a classic. The story covers plenty of things I as a 15 year old can relate to. This and the fact that the storyline is easily adapted into new pieces of media allows for the story to stay relevant and well known.

Family Guy

   If you happen to have grown up anywhere from 1995-2010 chances are you see the movie Shrek as a cinematic masterpiece. Something I realized in studying Shakespeare is that the storyline from the movie is distinctly similar to that of Romeo and Juliet. Two wavering groups with a star crossed lovers theme. Another fantastic example is the 1978 musical, Grease. The movie stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton John and the themes are extremely similar to Romeo and Juliet. Travolta’s character is the complete opposite of Olivia’s and their two cliques are constantly at each other’s throats. These films weren’t directly based on or remakes of Romeo and Juliet, but the common themes suggest that because of its classic storyline, Romeo and Juliet is often associated with movies like these.



   In conclusion I personally think that observing the impacts Shakespeare’s writings have made on the film industry in a modern era is really fascinating. Seeing that the movies I’ve grown up loving are so similar to a play that before this week I didn’t really understand is really cool. 

📝The Secret Annex📝

   Hello and welcome back to my blog! Before diving into today’s topic I’d like to take a moment to say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and most of all, a VERY happy and LUCKY New Year. We could all really use it after 2020. In saying that and comparing the past year of my life to some of history’s other difficult times, I feel rather small. Over the past 5 weeks my class has been working towards the production of our second podcast episodes, the topic being World War 2 and the vessels being our individual themes. Now when we compare the year 2020 to anywhere from 1939-1945, I can’t really complain all that much. Yes, the global pandemic has wrecked havoc across the entire globe and my normal life was turned upside down, but at least I wasn’t being bombed. The causes and consequences of events like the Second World War or the Covid-19 Pandemic will be a part of our history for a very, very long time. Possibly one of the most important ways of remembering and understanding the atrocities of WW2 comes from memory, from the stories of those who witnessed it. The physical documentation of the war is astounding compared to any other historical event before it, but hearing people who experienced it firsthand speak about their lives is on a whole other level. 


Gigglekid / Pixabay

   Our driving question for this project asked us to try and use the stories of others to build an understanding of the causes and consequences of WW2. In doing so we completed many milestones, perhaps the most important to me was milestone 2. Research is never easy, if it is you should probably look a little deeper into your topic. My idea for my episode was to use a mystery or conspiracy from the war to bring a story to life. Instead I got lucky and landed an interview with a senior researcher at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. My interviewee, Gertjan Broek published an article in 2016 covering his theory on how the Frank family was discovered by the Nazi’s. As my main source of information, this interview was by far the most important piece of my research. One of the best things about this interview and my research overall, is how much I can clearly see my progress since last year. I’ve conducted 2 interviews so far in the 2020/21 school year and looking back at each one really gives me an idea of how far I’ve come from building my interview skills. In interviewing Gertjan Broek, I’ve gone very far in being a global collaborator.

bernswaelz / Pixabay

   In building my knowledge of the events, causes, and consequences of WW2 and the mystery of how Anne Frank and her family were discovered, I was able to transfer what I’d learned into a script and develop my 2nd podcast episode. At the time I’m writing this, podcasts aren’t as daunting as they were when I was making this episode. It’s not necessarily the technical side of things, but more the context. If you’ve read any of my blog posts from grade 8 and 9, you know that I have had trouble keeping things concise. In order to stay within a 10-20 minute run time for each episode, I’ve had to learn to rearrange information and cut the unnecessary stuff, even if I think everything is valuable. 



   Milestone 3 challenged us to respond to text in new and creative ways. Our task was to read or listen to a piece of text, analyze it, and share our thoughts and ideas in a class discussion. In each discussion I felt that I contributed and took a lot away from hearing everybody’s differing opinions. Not only did we share our ideas, we also discussed the Three Act Structure, a form of storytelling that we’ve been newly introduced to. With each story analyzed we’d decide what the Three Act Structure would look like. Learning to do so has added to my arsenal of storytelling methods and tricks and is already contributing to my understanding of text in the current project we’re working on. 

John Ivan Anderson – Milestone 3: Story 1

   In conclusion, my understanding of what caused WW2, as well as the short term and long term consequences post war, has been developed and reached a new level where I feel knowledgeable enough to share my thoughts and opinions. In my podcast episode I think I did a great job at exhibiting all of my ideas, as well as everything I learned from Gertjan Broek. 

Ciara