I Hope This Doesn’t Get Me Killed

This week in class, we have been breaking down the who, what, where, and why’s surrounding the topic of new religious movements. New religious movements are more commonly known as “cults,” however, it is more appropriate to call them a new religious movement when academically analyzing them, which is what I’ll be doing today.

An example of a TV show about a NRM

At first, I thought this topic seemed a little odd to study in class as I consider NRM (new religious movement) more of an outside-of-school subject. I’ve always thought of them as a topic in the realm of true crime, never as something to learn in school. Throughout a few classes, I realized that NRMs are not just this scary unknown concept I watch Netflix series about—they are something that exposes fascinating human behaviour (on both sides, the members of the NRM and the leaders of it). While some NRMs may look too crazy and theatrical to be something of substance to study, analyzing them provides a lens of understanding human nature. Coincidentally, that lens of understanding applies to every topic we have studied this quarter as every catastrophe can be traced back to the question of “why do humans _______?”

Examples of NRMs

In class, we have mainly discussed NRMs that no longer exist. For example, the Peoples Temple, Children of God, and NXIVM. There is a wide variety of reasons why a NRM may no longer exist—harmful media exposure, legal reasons, murder/suicide, members losing faith in their leader, and much more. While non-active NRMs are important to analyze, I believe studying ones that exist in our current day is just as valuable, and that is why this post will be about the one and only, Church of Scientology.

The LA Scientology building

Scientology is a unique example of a NRM as it went from a radical ‘cult’ to a certified religion in countries like America, Italy, and South Africa. In 1957, 3 years after Scientology was established, the IRS legitimized Scientology as a religion by granting them tax exemption for “religious purposes”. While this exemption was battled in 1967, Scientology’s in America has been officially tax-exempt since the ’90s. This decision sustained the uprising of “America’s only new religion of the 20th century”, Scientology.

I would love to explain all of Scientology to you lovely readers, but this blog would be a 50 part series if I attempted that. I genuinely have never encountered a more complex topic to research and write about. Scientology is the most confusing, intense, and mysterious topic I have read about, and unless I join it myself, I will not truly understand it. The only information on this NRM is either from the Church’s website or ex-members, as current members aren’t generally allowed to speak of it. There is no defined truth, and because of that, Scientology is a damn mystery.

News coverage on Scientology in the past

Thanks to our lack of knowing what precisely goes on in Scientology, the only reliable information we have is history, so let’s look at it! Scientology was established in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard, a famous science fiction writer. No one truly knows how many members of Scientology there are, but according to worldwide counts, there are a few hundred thousand. That amount is strange as the Church of Scientology claims to gain 4.4 million new members per year.

Scientology’s core beliefs derive from Hubbard’s 1950 book titled “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. This book revealed to readers that they could gain “psychological enlightenment” through his concept of “mental auditing’. “The Modern Science of Mental Health” was the almost sort of scripture/bible for Hubbard’s new religious movement, Scientology. So yes, a well-known science fiction writer started a new “religion” based on a book he wrote.

Hubbard’s Book

Some more general beliefs of Scientology include that humans are immortal, peoples live more than one life, and that we possess infinite capabilities. According to Hubbard, each human has a “reactive mind that responds to life’s traumas, clouding the analytic mind and keeping us from experiencing reality”. Scientologists do not believe in mental illnesses due to that belief. All of this stems from Hubbards‘ great secret doctrine behind Scientology‘, which he said came to him when he closed his eyes. It would take me a few pages to explain this doctrine, so instead, I will show you a video. Yes, this is a clip from South Park, but through all of my research, it is very accurate to what we know of Hubbard’s doctrine, even though it is on a comedic show.

I know the explanation looks super science fiction-y and odd, and that is because it is. Remember, a well-known science fiction author wrote it.

Their belief system is about one out of hundreds of the aspects of Scientology. There is how Scientology implements these beliefs, how they recruit people, the way they live, and so much more. Here is a little video to get some more general context if you are interested.

So, if you are an open-minded person not too aware of Scientology, you may be wondering, “Luca, it’s just a religion. It may seem crazy, but people are allowed to believe what they believe…” While that is valid, I and many others would respond that it is not and never has been a religion; it is a NRM, aka a “cult.” The distinction between a religion and a NRM can be found within the amount of control the religion and its leader have over its members and how they use that control. What I mean by control is any action beyond the individual following the religion’s beliefs. Meaning, if faith becomes more than something you believe in and more something to pay for and or feel trapped in, it starts entering the territory of it being more than just a religion, a cult (NRM).

Christianity vs Scientology can express the significant contrasts between a religion and a NRM.

A Christan Church

Christianity does not require your money in order to grow your faith or try to ruin your life if you no longer believe in the religion. Christianity does not restrict anyone from critiquing it or talking negatively about it with non-Christians or fellow Christians. Scientology, however, does all of these. I am all for people bettering themselves and finding something to believe in that gives them hope—what I’m not okay with is a religion exploiting that eagerness to improve. The use of money makes this ‘religion’ seem more like a business… This thought is not just my own— while yes, some countries like the US and Italy recognize Scientology as a religion, others like Canada and Germany do not. Germany even tried banning it from their country as they believed it was a business enterprise.

People go into Scientology wanting to better themselves; the website and building locations all have propaganda about being the best you, fixing the issues in your life. In reality, all it does is take your money (I’m talking hundreds of thousands $$) and trap you in their NRM. Sorry but… what religion requires hundreds of thousands of dollars? Scientology requiring money to join and learn is the main reason why Scientology fits the definition of a NRM.

A questionnaire on their website

It’s easy to say you wouldn’t fall into a manipulative NRM but as we know, saying is easier than doing. I spent 5 minutes on the Scientology website, and If I was someone with no prior knowledge of the Church, I see no apparent reason that would cause suspicion or disinterest in the Church. Take a look here yourself; they tell you they can help you with stress, anxiety, work, drug abuse, love, literally everything ordinary people struggle with. “The Way to Happiness,” “Drug-free Free World,” and “Mental Health Reform” are all things the website says that the Church of Scientology provides for its members.

A screenshot of their website

Along with their website/advertising being scarily attractive, they have the support of many celebrities. That may seem irrelevant, but when someone like Tom Cruise, one of the most famous actors of all time, advocates for something, of course, many people are going to listen. So many big names in Hollywood support Scientology—this means that Scientology has a grasp over their celebrity member’s fans because they trust these actors as they may think, “ah well, if my favourite actor is in Scientology, I want to be in Scientology!” The fact they have celebrities in their Church means they also just gain society’s general trust. For some reason, everyone acts like celebrities are these godlike, smart people who know best, when in reality, they are people just as susceptible to NRM as everyone else. Luckily, this mindset is diminishing more and more as celebrity ex-members speak out on the dark side of Scientology (for example, Leah Remini).

Once one of these tactics of recruiting members works, either the self-help aspect of the Church of acting on the trust of others, step two of the NRM conditioning can begin. “Brainwashing” is what some may call it. Scientology, like many NRMs, makes its new or questioning members go to classes and learn about the Church. Unprotected and interested people are very susceptible to believing anything that is told to them, which is why a lot of NRM start with basic classes. After some classes, they are told they need to begin “auditing” aka counselling sessions with Scientologists.

The therapy called “auditing”
John Travolta in an auditing session

Due to their beliefs that we humans have a “reactive mind that responds to life’s traumas, clouding the analytic mind and keeping us from experiencing reality,” therapy/counselling is a big part of it all. They make you pay a lot of money for these sessions where Scientologists make you expose all your trauma and secrets so you can be ‘clear.’ This clearness is a part of the whole belief system and how humans live many lives. They also record and keep this all, so they can ruin your life with your secrets if you ever try to leave.

Hubbard Himself

That is just 1 out of 1000 of the brutal things they do to these defenceless people seeking to better themselves and help others. There is so much more that happens beyond classes and counselling, and they all highlight now Scientology is not just a religion; it is a cult (NRM). Scientologists aren’t allowed to consume outside media, talk to other Scientologists about the Church, and have to attend a certain amount of Scientology-related class/work/church per day. To put Scientology’s dominance in perspective, there are even whole “cities” like Clearwater in Florida owned and dedicated to Scientology-related people or companies! Scientology is all about levels, and once a member is secured on the beliefs, they will do ANYTHING to reach the next level.

Long withstanding religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are great examples of common traditional religions (a non-NRM). They all consist of a set of beliefs that anyone can follow however intensely they want. There isn’t the aspect of immense control. You don’t have to pay; you are allowed to question the religion, and you have the choice whether you attend Church or any of their religious meetings. They are examples of a religion an individual can follow and still have a normal, healthy, and functioning life without fear or manipulation. Scientology has so much control over its members it basically thinks for them, which is something we don’t see in traditional religions. Critical thinking and freedom are vital for a healthy relationship with religion, and Scientologists lack both, which confirms it is a new religious movement.

I hope anyone who reads this looks more into Scientology as I find it genuinely one of the most fascinating things happening in our current day.

Real Historians Listen to Music!

Looking back to the middle of May, our class dove into the topic of music and its connections to history—specifically the Vietnam War and Marvin Gaye. We have since moved on from this topic, though I continually find myself considering the question, “can music be a historical source when researching?”

Marvin Gaye’s Iconic Album

During this whole quarter, there has been plenty of research. This research typically stemmed from an in-class lecture as I always want to find out further information on the topic. My initial response is always to google the topic and find either an article or a video that can explain the subject to me in an uncomplicated way. This is great and all but most of the time it is all just factual information and doesn’t provide first-hand experience or perspectives from a primary source. While a general understanding is helpful (knowing what, where, who), a sophisticated understanding requires more. “More” is discovering the overall feel of the time and knowing society’s response to the event during the time. This “more” is important to understanding history on a level past information fed to you.

The Vietnam War

Using our in-class example, the Vietnam War, we gained a new perspective on the war by listening to albums like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”. This album provided us with a unique lens that put our 2021 selves in the shoes of those who watched the Vietnam War go down in real-time. This lens through music is personal, honest, and historical; one that presents feelings no typed words can.

Billie Holiday, someone who comes to mind when looking at influential music

Our Marvin Gaye class inspired a train of thought I’ve carried with me since… Why is music made during the years of an event not more commonly used as a source to examine the emotions and society’s opinions of that time? I feel like everything, BUT music, is used when analyzing an event. Clothing, language, architecture, people, places, and the economics of the time are all things I’ve noticed are significantly picked at when looking back on history. I.e. “how what they wore during _______ represents _____,” “how their choice of language and expression shows historians this ______,” etc. I rarely see “how this album produced during ______ reflects societies feelings toward ______.” Music isn’t being used to its full potential! Music has so much to analyze; the lyrics, the tone, the culture surrounding it, the target audience, the popularity of the song, society’s response to the music, etc.

I researched this topic of music being used as a historical source and found an interesting article. Something that stood out to me is the following quote.

“The best historical work attends to the specificity of music even as it widens the field of analysis to include its social, political and ideological contexts.”

I agree with this, and I feel reading and watching videos feeds you info to understand what happened, while the music provides you with something less solid. It allows you to analyze it yourself, ultimately putting yourself in the artist’s shoes at the time. Music offers a deeper understanding of history. It is a valuable primary source that I think is not utilized enough.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon come to mind as well

I felt this was worthy of sharing here because it is a reminder to myself that from now on, I will use music the same way I do articles and videos. I feel my understanding will reach a new level, furthermore benefitting my education.

Media Feeds off of Death

This week, the topic is terrorism. We have dived right in analyzing many specific examples, perspectives, and questions surrounding this difficult and disturbing topic. I decided for today’s post I wanted to focus on fewer facts and explanations and more on my learning outcome—the ideas and questions I’m left with.

Examples of modern day terrorism media coverage

A significant concept that has stuck out to me during the week’s discussions is how reliant terrorists are on media coverage.

Media coverage via newspaper

Terrorists need the media to receive free publicity for their cause, spread their messages, and to gain support and recognition. For terrorism to gain the public attention the terrorists are seeking, media needs to play a part—and terrorists know that. The more shocking and disturbing an event is, the more the news and media will cover it. Reporting on terrorism equals money in news channels pockets as nothing is truly more attention-grabbing than death. Nothing is more mind-consuming than a catastrophe.

This notion of “nothing is truly more attention-grabbing than death” has consumed my mind lately. That means lots of time in the Luca brain to reminisce on the concept.

It is all a ‘cycle’

What I’ve come up with is that I believe this concept is continuing a cycle. I’ll try to explain. In simple terms, terrorists need their acts to have media coverage.  News outlets have the precedent of always doing that exactly. It makes sense; their job is to inform the public’s on the topic, and it makes them money. What we see here is a mutually beneficial relationship between terrorism and today’s media. That relationship, in my opinion, is very dangerous. It supports the cycle of terrorist acts being committed. Terrorists know the news will cover their actions, and that is why we are seeing so many unmerciful terrorist acts. It is due to that awareness of free publicity.

While reading around other’s thoughts on this relationship of terrorism and media, I found a quote that correctly put what I was trying to say into words. The quote is from this article linked here, told by a man named Hoffman.

“Without the media’s coverage, the act’s impact is arguably wasted, remaining narrowly confined to the immediate victim(s) of the attack, rather than reaching the wider’ target audience’ at whom the terrorists’ violence is actually aimed.”

Media coverage via TV

This quote is essentially saying terrorists are more interested in the audience than the actual victims. Strategic preparation is done on where and when their terrorist act should happen as they want to make sure it has the most potential media coverage. When I say media coverage, I’m not talking about an essential five-minute section on the news informing the public of what, where, why and when. I’m talking about the aftermath of media coverage. Big clickbait titles, the repetition of stories, graphic images, and fighting on who is to blame–The media profits from the drama terrorism creates. The profit may seem harmless, but it is not. It pushes the intended impact of the terrorism down the public’s throat so they can never, ever, ever, forget it, therefore benefitting the terrorists.

This cycle of terrorism and the media feeding off of it is dangerous and only encourages more terrorism. I believe the media must become more aware of their impact as is a good news story really worth possible encouragement for future terrorism?My question ill leave you all with is… If there was a limit on the media’s coverage of terrorism, would we see less terrorism?

Minding Your Own Business Can Save Lives

Over the past three weeks, PLP has taken the class through a route of historical events. Not just any historical event/topic, only ones which were societal turning points worldwide; Ones too significant to forget. From 9/11 to the Cuban Missile Crisis, we touched on influential events that always end up revealing quite a bit about society, human nature, and power.

One of my Lit Notes!

To give some context, the specific events we touched on were the New Deal, the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK Assassination, the Introduction to Birth Control, Watergate, the Fall of Saigon, Iran Hostage Crisis, 9/11, and the Creation of the iPhone. We learned, discussed, and studied these turning points looking for answers to our questions. Questions like how did these events and the decisions and actions in them significantly transform people’s lives? How did they narrow or eliminate choices for people? To find answers to these and form new questions, we had to research in-between and surrounding topics that stemmed from the original topic. One google search wasn’t ever sufficient—multiple sources, deep thinking, questions, and writing down our perceptions and concepts in our Zettlekasten were vital.

So, what? Why am I telling you this? Well, I’ve had a train of thought since day 1 of this quarter. It may seem ridiculous, or maybe even ignorant, but that doesn’t stop me from asking it.

Why doesn’t America mind its own business?

Fidel Castro During the Bay of Pigs

Bold, I know. Let me explain. 

This question began during the Cuban Missile Crisis class lecture. This terrifying six-day portion of the Cold War all stemmed from the Bay of Pigs. The Bay of Pigs was essentially caused by America feeling vulnerable due to Cuba’s new Prime Minister Fidel Castro’s anti-Americanism. This lead to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which caused an almost nuclear war. It’s a long story and too little time to explain, but the concept I got out of it all is what matters. Why did America care so much? Yes, there are actual valid reasons why America cared. For example…


1) Castros goal of removing American power from Cuba

2) Cuba’s close relationship with America’s enemy, the Soviet Union

3) Simply the fear America felt about Cuba, a country so close to them becoming communist and it possibly spreading 


Cuban Missile Crisis Protests

Even with solid explanations of why America did what they did, I still find myself asking, was it worth all of this? Was America’s fear of Castro, Cuba, and communism really worth an almost nuclear war? In my opinion, no. Why did they feel the need to budge their heads into something they could have just ignored? Yes, there are negatives to ignoring something like the whole Castro/Cuba situation, but in this situation I think America should have minded their own business.

You may disagree with me, but I have more examples to hopefully convince you with. 

Vietnam War

This second topic came from our lecture on the Fall of Saigon, the case being The Vietnam/American War. Quick overview of this War—America felt once again vulnerable to a country using their power in a way they disagree with (communism). The U.S. believed that if one state fell into communism, the rest would follow. A sort of domino theory perspective. While yes, this theory was correct to a point (neighbouring countries of Vietnam becoming communist), it never affected the U.S. There was no global catastrophe like LBJ (President of America at the time) predicted. America’s alliances never became communists, and the world moved on. The only catastrophe was the 2 million American and Vietnamese lives lost in this war. 

Photo From the Vietnam War

See what I’m getting at here? The question of, was this war really necessary? Did America really need to get involved in one countries decision of how to handle power and nation control? Was this fear of communism worth this all? In my opinion, no. Also, don’t even get me started on the political aspect of this war and how that influenced LBJ’s decisions. America is so dramatic. I mean, every country is, but in these historical topics, I notice it most in America. 

One of my lit notes on The Cuban Missile Crisis

I can provide so many more connections and evidence to support this question of “why doesn’t America mind its own business,” including topics connected to 9/11, the Iran Hostage Crisis, Birth Control, and more! However, this post can only share so much, and I feel the points I made can hopefully represent the point I was trying to get across. 

To end it off, the last point I want to make is that no, America has not learned from this all and started minding their own business. There are, to this day, still troops in Afghanistan fighting for something completely unrelated to America.

Side note: Why I told you so much info initially that may have seemed irrelevant is because it is the basis of a lot of my future posts on here. Every week or so, I will be documenting some connection, interest, or knowledge I’ve gained through the week—most relating to those big topics I mentioned. The future posts will be shorter and easier to glide through; this one is just an intro on this quarter + discussing my question. See you all next week!

The Cycle

Well, that was a short year! Yes, everyone, I am done with English/Socials 12. Well, I’ve done a whole year’s worth, but I still have another side of it to do in quarter 4. Anyway, this blog post will be about our last project this quarter, and it’s about the best topic ever…. Women! We studied the timeline of women’s rights from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” written in the 1500s to the current day, 2020. We used this driving question to help guide us. 

“How can we use our study of “The Taming of the Shrew” to understand how much yet how little has changed for women?” 

This was my thesis building spot, very messy, like my brain.

Through this project, we have done multiple projects and activities, including… Reading many exemplar essays, analyzing older essays, presenting work, reading Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Watching “10 Things I Hate About You, making women’s rights posters, 3 weekly blog posts linked here, here, and here… and so much more. I mean, this was like half a year of work done and learned in 5 weeks. As well as learning with the goal of answering the driving question, I became better at essay writing! 

Okay, I mentioned essay writing, so I will share this project’s final end with you first. It’s an essay, fun, right? It comprehensively answers the driving question, with evidence that I will dive deeper into in this post. This essay has my literal blood and tears in it. Literally, I got multiple nose bleeds while writing this essay. I’m not sure why. 

My thesis is hopefully clear enough, but if it’s not, it’s “In order to break the cycle of men abusing women either physical, verbal, mental, or sexual, women have to call out the abuse they are experiencing, or the cycle will continue.” I chose this thesis as I’m very passionate about raising awareness about sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. After reading TOTS, my thesis came to me. It is basically how I felt about Kate and how she let Petruchio treat her. TOTS sparked this thesis, and everything we studied after it provided the evidence. So let’s get into it….



70s Poster by Isy H!

 “How has the role of women in society both stayed alike and changed over time?” Was the question to answer for this milestone. This was my favourite milestone and also taught me a base of information that I really needed. I’m a visual learner, so timelines and things along that line are my friends. Ms. Willemse divided our class into groups of 3-4. Each group got to choose out of a decade(s) in the 1900s to 2000s. The options were the 40s/50, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s/2000s. Each group had to create a 10ish minute presentation about their decade, specifically about women. How they were treated, their rights, what they wore, how many women worked, any movements that had happened, etc. This milestone gave me a beneficial base of information before I started the essay. Knowing each decade in-depth helped me identify the continuity and change that I needed to highlight in my essay. It made me able to contrast and compare the changes from “The Taming of the Shrew” to now. 

90s-2000s Poster by Me!!

Although knowing the whole timeline is very helpful, I think my decade(s) was the best to study, which was—the 90s to now. My group’s presentation really influenced why I chose the thesis I did as movements in the 2000s like #MeToo shine light on how terribly women are treated by men with power. Seeing this timeline made me realize the women’s rights fight that’s been happening since the early 1900’s is just taking two steps forward then one step backwards. Sometimes even taking 1 forward and two back. Women were never set up for success by the systems we live in, but they survive and thrive through determination and power. The 90s to 2000s are proof of that. That’s why at least half of my essay is about this time in history. I mention the #MeToo Movement, AOC calling out Representative Yoho, the work rate for women going up, and more. This milestone really inspired the thesis for my essay. 



Okay, a significant portion of my time in this unit went to these two things, so I feel like If I didn’t mention them that this would be incorrect. While milestone 3 really helped me gain a general understanding, which led me to my thesis, common lit and essay analysis’s helped me understand how to write an essay. I feel like I’ve strengthened mentally in the designing texts competency more in the past 5 weeks than I have in the past 2 years. I think it must be because I was so determined to do well, and I was doing anything and everything to get there. The common lits helped teach me how to use evidence just and adequately. They also showed me examples of reliable and well-written essays throughout time.

I was getting awful marks on the analysis portion at first, but I asked for extra ones to redeem myself. The extra ones and the last class ones I did were mostly around the 90% range, whereas my first few were like 15% to 50%, which is a literal failing mark. I improved as time went on, and I could actually see the progress as my marks on common lit were going up. I improved by taking more time for each common lit and highlighting and annotating the text. Also, I made sure to read what the goal of the questions was; it focused on the evidence or voice or perspective, etc.

The exemplar essays were not only helpful because they were about women, but they were also just good examples of essays. Some of the essays provided, like milestone 3, events or facts that helped proved my thesis. The questions that followed the essays really me look at the text in a new way. This led me to think a lot about the designing text competency and how am I supposed to “reflect, assess, and refine texts to improve clarity, effectiveness, and impact for purpose, audience, and message.” These essays helped me understand new ways of writing essays that aren’t just intro, evidence x3 and outro. 



here is a LOVLEY picture of me looking very odd. I took this during break one day in english class.

Okay, I’m trying to keep this blog post under 1000 words, so now that I have discussed what inspired my essay thesis and what helped me write a pretty solid essay…. I’m going to talk a bit about the things I’m proud of and things I want to focus on and work on between now and quarter 4 English/history. I’m very proud of myself for the persistence I had for this essay. I spent probably 5 periods of time around 2-5 Hours long just revising and revising—That’s after the initial 8-hour essay writing session to get the base of it down. Poor Willemse had to read my writing so often (very sorry about that) until we were both happy with it. I was not going to stop editing that essay until I got a rainbow. Next time, something I want to do differently is to step out of my comfort zone in the way I layout my essays. This essay I stuck to a pretty normal and comfy essay layout (which I had to end up changing), making me want to try something totally different next time. I want my voice to be more evident in my writing.

To carry on this photobooth theme, heres a pic of me right now editing this blog.

This project was very intense but also very rewarding. I feel prepared for university. I feel like this project finally made me feel like I am not terrible at writing. Also, I am surprised I am still alive after 5 weeks of solid PLP for 2.5 hours every day. Thanks for reading this and I hope you continue to think about my thesis, as its something all of us need to do. Protect women. 

860 000 Women

During class this week, my teacher scrolled through a basecamp post called “A Woman’s Place today.” At the bottom of the post there was some info that really caught my eye and that I wanted to learn more about.

“Recent labour market statistics in the United States for the month of September show that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone—however, of the 1.1 million people who left the job market in September, more than 860,000 were women.”


Below that text, there was a link to a NPR podcast called “How More Women Than Men Are Being Impacted By The Recession” where they evaluated the situation/evidence and provided a possible explanation to why women are being so greatly effected, more than men. This post is going to break down the podcast and share my thoughts on it.

They tell a woman, Cassie Gaffer’s story. She shares that she finally finished her dental schooling, which is a gruelling and intense few years. She started working, and loved it. When COVID arrived in March, the practice closed as a part of the mandated shut down. Not only did her work close, her daughters daycare and school did too. She became a stay at home mom for the time. When the lockdown loosened up and essential services like dentistry opened up, she was offered her job back and she had to say no. Her husband went back to work, and she stayed home as that’s what made most sense for her family. There needed to be a parent at home as daycare and in class school wasn’t an option anymore.

According to Martha Gimble, a economist at Schmitt Futures who studies the labour market, “this is the case for millions of women around America right now.” The problem is right now, women are given very little choice’s compared to before the pandemic. The pandemic took away the choices women had, leaving them with no freedom to decide what they want. They can’t send there kids to school, someone has to supervise the learning, do the cooking, the cleaning, and those roles are falling on women. But why?

  1. CULTURAL PRESIDENT: While things have changed immensely for women, in heterosexual relationships, these roles (childcare and housework) still tend to fall more on the woman in the relationship.

  2. ECONOMICAL DECISIONS: Because women generally get paid less then men, if the couple is making an economic decision, it makes more sense for the women to drop there work compared to the man.

In result of these things, women in the workforce numbers have been the lowest its been decades. Studies show that women who take time from the workforce have a harder time getting back in. They are losing experiences that help them move forward like promotions, building skills that will help future employers pay you more.

In class we’ve been discussing past decades from the 40s to now, and the topic of women in the workplace were mentioned in almost all of them. What surprised me most about this podcast, is that this unfair president thats set on women, is still there. It just surprises me when I study something how much woman lives have changed over the years, yet I still see unfair stats like this. COVID has brought up issues that we all thought were fixed. The pandemic is having a devastating effect on gender equality and could set women back decades, which is why it’s a very important topic to discuss. Read this article here if you want to learn more about this topic. 

How the Apple Falls From the Tree

In this past week of class, we looked at some visuals from a children’s book. You may be thinking… wow, Luca, a children’s book, but trust me, you’ll learn something from it. The 4 pages we looked at show some visual examples of some words that I’ve used and that have been thrown around the past few weeks in this women’s right unit. I very much benefitted from this conversation in class, so I want to hand it over to everyone here.


“Unequal access to opportunities.” We see here in this pic that two individuals are standing in this exact same spot (flipped) with the same hand position and same height, yet one is receiving plenty more apples than the other. This is due to the way the tree is flawed. It’s bent to one side making the person on the left have 10 times more apples, resulting in a lack of fairness or justice. Person on the left isn’t working harder, or doing anything different, just the system which their standing under (the tree) seems to favour the person on the left. But why is the tree bent? An example to solidify this idea is the movie “

In example of inequality in the workplace is seen in the movie “Legally Blonde.” While the actual movie is all about girl power and women doing what they want, I read an article linked here which brings up the toxic and unfair treatment in film and tv castings. Reese Witherspoon played the main role, and when at casting she was told “she wasn’t sexy enough.” Why I’m using the example is 1) It shows how the tree is bent in this situation (being in-equal to man as she is expected to dress scandalous for an audition even though the character in the movie dresses quite modestly besides a few scenes.) Witherspoon had to follow the casting directors sexist remarks in order for the tree to bend her way, while in the male roles the tree was already bent there way. They started out on an unequal playing field. 2) In an interview with Witherspoon about this movies casting she says “They thought I was a shrew” which is quite fitting. They thought of her that because she didn’t show up to casting showing all her skin.

This brings up the topic of the MeToo Movement where people with positions of power are  being held accountable for using sexuality as a means of casting and getting what they want from performers. While legally blonde doesn’t have any intense allegations against them, it shows how easy actors do what the people with power want them to do.


“Evenly distributed tools and assistance.” We see here the same two people standing on a ladder getting the apples. While the person on the left is gathering plenty, the person on the right still cannot reach them as the ladder height is accustomed to the person on the left not them. This brings up the topic of “treat everyone the same.” While initially that sounds pretty promising, the more you think about it the more flawed you see it is. Treating everyone the same means you’re assuming that everyone benefits from the same support.

For example: Giving a man and a woman the same treatment does not take into consideration the chance of a women becoming pregnant, birthing the child, and raising the child. If you make the ladders in a situation like men and women the same, women don’t have the same potential to do as well because there needs aren’t being taken into consideration, there ladder isn’t heigh enough. Consider the apples opportunities, women cannot reach them if they are treated the same as a man as women have more pushbacks to deal with, making it unrealistic for the ladder to be the same as the mans.  And see in the image how even if the person on the right could reach the apples, there are still less than the person on the left. This shows even if (in my example) the women is given more help, sometimes there are just less opportunities due to the fact she is a women and has to deal with things like sexism and discrimination.


“Fixing the system to offer equal access to both tools and opportunities.”

We see here both people standing in the same place with the same ladder, both receiving the same amount of apples. But, notice the wood holding up the tree. This is the justice aspect of it, fixing the system which is the tree to no longer discriminate against one group. They are standing there equally being the cause of the inequity was addressed and the systematic barrier of the bent tree was fixed.


“Custom tools that identify and address the inequality.” We see in this last image, the tree is still bent to the left, there are still more apples on the left yet the person on the right is being given a taller ladder than the person on the left.

People may see someone being given more as “unfair” but look, now they are at equal levels. Also notice how there are less apples on the right side compared to the left. I think the fact this image goes back to having less apples on the right side (compared to the previous one “justice”) is because equity treats the individual to the inequality of the situation, where as the apples are plenty on both sides in the justice image as justice “fixes” the system, making it perfect and ideal. In a system where men and women aren’t being paid the same due to the wage gap (aka the mother gap) you can’t really “fix” the situation as women are always going to be the one getting pregnant, but you can get equity by giving that women time off and paid leave. See what I’m getting at? Some situations can’t necessarily have justice as the world works how it wants to work, but we can address it and create custom tools.

10 Things I Learned This Week

Ok ok this post isn’t actually 10 things I learnt, but let me explain. This week in English 12 we are continuing our reading of “Taming of the Shrew.” TOTS (Taming of the Shrew) is a play written by Shakespeare, and falls into the category of “comedy” compared to “tragedy” because it ends with marriage… Anyways, TOTS is basically about (in a Luca brain interpretation) a crew of people in Italy in the Elizabethan times trying to get this crazy women Kate married so her pretty yet shallow sister Bianca, could be married. Katherine aka Kate is this wild and untamed woman who is at the time labeled a “shrew.” A shrew basically meant what Kate was. A wild, untamed woman. Any women in the Elizabethan time had standards and expectations to follow, and if they didn’t, they were labeled a shrew. Anyways, this post isn’t just about the fact I learnt what a shrew is, it’s about a connection I made mid class one day.

“10 Things I Hate About You is just another version of Taming of the Shrew” said someone in my class a few days ago. I instantly was intrigued as that is a movie I really enjoy, and have seen quite a few times. I immediately was shocked and did some googling, and that person was right. I should have known that, as the main character in TOTS, Katherine Minola is the shrew who refuses to follow the standards of woman that her father and just any man expects for her to follow. The main character in 10 Things is Kat Stratford who is the crazy, goofy, and wild teenage girl who refuses to act a certain way to impress teenage boys, and just like Katherine, ends up being “tamed” by a man.

An illustration from Taming of the Shrew

With further research, most characters and the overall story line of both Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You line up almost perfectly. Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith, the writers of 10 Things, did an amazing job at turning a Shakespeare play into a modern day story about teenagers. Despite the very different settings the two works of fiction take place in, certain things remain constant, such as the ways the characters are portrayed and perceived.

Characters from 10 Things I Hate About You

Some themes that really match up in both pieces of work is the actual taming of the shrew (Katherine or Kat in this case.) Kat Stratford, Katherina Minola’s counterpart, is rarely taken seriously and constantly mocked, while Patrick Verona, Petruchio’s counterpart, is looked up to as a model of masculinity and admired for his ability to tame the shrew, or at least make her fall for him. You’d think that taming of wilder women is such a 1500’s thing to do, but I watched this 1990’s movie and didn’t think twice.

I can’t explain all the connection as this post would be 1000+ words, but there was countless connections and this video right below helps show them.

Why I wanted to make this post is because it correlates with our classes discussion of continuity and change, and how it’s kind of ironic how we can recreate a 1500’s story in the 1990’s and have it be quite, well, realistic. Obviously women rights have moved forward for the good, but the theme of “taming” a “wild women” is seen in both TOTS and 10 things (500 years apart!!!) Which brings us to the question, why does society feel the need to “tame” women?

Marking History

Hello Readers! This is officially my first project post! Our first project is titled “Marking History.” This project we had a real life client, and had to create a product (multiple actually) for them. So let me explain.

Marking History is a historical perspective based project. Everything we did with this project, had to have more than one historical perspective. This made it so none of our research was biased. We started out this project with assignments like reading the White Paper, and having a Socratic Seminar. Another assignments were the work towards our main project, like a historians oath, and pages and pages of research and sources. But why? What were we working towards?

The Heritage Society is a building location in Deep Cove. It is holds the root and bones of all of Deep Cove’s history. For this project, we worked with them to create 2 products.  A walking tour pamphlet, and a walking tour google map. The Heritage Society already had a existing pamphlet which was wonderful and amazing, but we wanted to make one PLP style. While creating this project we had to keep in mind the driving question.

“How can we as historians uncover and share stories about our community?”

So, as I mentioned their were two products. Ill explain the basis of both products, then go it detail. Everyone in our 11/12 PLP split class had a location on the tour. We got to share our top choices with Ms. Maxwell, then she picked who does what. I think everyone got one of their top picks. Pictured below is my 3 options,

and I ended up with the squatters in North Vancouver. I had prior knowledge about the squatters as probably 5ish years ago, the last squatter home in North Vancouver (in cates park) was removed. It was the bright blue cute cabin, and I never really understood the story of why it was there, so thats why I wanted to focus on squatters for this project.

Luca age 10 at the last standing squatter home in NV.


My group! Haha

Due to COVID-19, our class was split into two groups. I was in “The Wolves” group and we were assigned the pamphlet. All of us had roles, and mine was Map Creator. But, along with that we had to do our individual work. This means researching your topic until you’re literally so knowledgable about it, then forming it into a well written 100 word paragraph. Everyone had to send us pamphlet people their paragraph, historical picture, citations, and map location. This portion of the project made us write and design text using our resources. We had to take sheets of resources, sources, and research and design it into something that deep cove citizens, tourists, and anyone else to enjoy and learn from.

I created the map, which was actually really challenging. I had a task, for a client. It was stressful knowing this project wasn’t just going into showbie, it was going to be an actual product thats printed out for people use. But, I picked that job because I knew I could do it. It took me about 5-6 hours to fully develop a working map, as I had to replicate and detail our walking tour. It had to be pretty, but understandable. It had to be small, but the text had to be big. It had to be colourful enough for the text to not overlap, but it was black and white. There was so many little things I had to focus on.

The map rough draft by Ms. Maxwell, and Final draft made by me.

I’d say besides the lead curators, Daniel and I put together the pamphlet. No one actually had assigned the task of putting the pamphlet together, so it was a mess to figure that out but I sort of stood up and assigned Daniel to do it, as I knew he’d do a great job. He put it together in photoshop, while asking me where everything goes. He did, and heres the final product.


The eagles group were assigned to make the google map. I can’t speak too too much on it as I wasn’t in the group, but I’ll explain it. The google map is the same thing as the pamphlet, but online, and has more info in it. For the google maps group we had to hand in a 150-300 word blurb, a historical photo, a Soundcloud link of us speaking about our location, a digital enhancement, and our citations. To hear more about how it was made, check out the eagles posts. Adlih, Logan, Giorgia, and Emily are great examples. Here is a picture of the map, but press link HERE to fully experience it.

My portion

For my individual part of the google map, there was a lot of work. I had to create a digital enhancement. My digital enchantment included both circular competencies , taking historical perspective and writing and designing text and using resources. I used film “Mudflats Living” by Robert Fresco and Kris Paterson, and took highlights from it to create slides where theres a title, and then a clip from the film. I did this because the film showed multiple historical perspectives like the squatter themselves, the Mayor Ron Andrew, and the Tsleil-Waututh people. I felt it was too valuable of a source to not do anything with. I cut down the movie and made a highlights book as I wanted the person doing the walk to be able to have the movies experience while they are standing in my location, by only watching one or two clips. It worked out better than I had expected. 

(need to ask willemse how it insert a book creator link)


For my first project in class during COVID-19, I think it went pretty well. I pushed myself really hard to do well in this project, and I think it payed off. I really enjoyed the fact this project was a real life product, that people will use. Also, I really enjoyed learning about my home town. Deep Cove is so rich in history and information. I barley knew anything about the place I’ve lived my whole life. My eyes have opened to so much more new info, and it makes my life living here even more interesting. Since this project I’ve found myself pointing out in my head, the walking tour area I’m passing by. Im so aware of the history now, and It feels great.

Election Time! No! Not American!

Recently, I was asked, “do you know more about American politics or Canadian politics?” I really thought about it, and I realized I know way more about what’s going on in American than Canada. American politics effect Canada, but they aren’t as nearly important as Canadian politics (to me who is a Canadian resident.) Theres an election going on right now where I live, and I didn’t even know what it was for, or who was running. But, I could recite to you all the election dates going on in America, and what happening!

That is definitely flawed on my part. I should know whats going on in my own town, city, province, and country! If I’m going to spend any of my energy and brain on politics, It should be on the stuff that effects me, my community and family. So, for this, this week I learned, I’m going to be teaching myself about whats going on in BC right now and why we have an election, as this week we touched on the topic of BC politics. Also… 

1. I am able to vote next year! 

2. Prior to this post and research I was clueless, besides the basics… I didn’t know there was more than one type of election…

3. To be a fully involved Canadian citizen, I should know whats going on in our province and country.

Right now, a Provincial General Election has been called for Saturday, October 24.

John Horgan!

John Horgan the current premier of British Columbia, called this election. He has been leader of the British Columbia NDP since 2014. 

The 2017 provincial election resulted in an unprecedented result, with Horgan’s NDP taking 41 seats and the B.C. Liberal Party winning 43 seats. The Green Party won three seats, and entered into an agreement to join a minority NDP government. So NDP and the Green Party have been working together to take care of BC! But, John Horgan seems to now want it to just be NPD, so he’s hosting a provincial election. Both the NDP and Green agreed not to trigger an election until the next scheduled date, which was set for the fall of 2021. So, as you can assume, theres a lot of controversy about this all, as we are in a global pandemic… Ill do my best to explain it all. 

From my POV after reading as many articles as I can, John Horgan seems to be done with sharing the government with Green, and wants it all to the NDP. He must think he’s going to win, as he’s the one who called the election, but why? Where is his confidence coming from? I think he’s confident because of the way COVID-19 was handled. Most BC residents are pretty happy with how COVID-19 was handled, so I think he believes he he has a good chance of winning win because of that. While that may be true, people are confused to why this is so necessary.  Also, COVID cases are way higher compared to in the spring, that may effect him. “The stability that we had over the course of our minority government is not as strong as it was when we began,” Horgan says.

Twitter has many perspectives!

Newly elected Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau says on twitter, “I met with John Horgan on Friday and told him he had a stable government. This election is completely unnecessary. The NDP has chosen the pursuit of power over the health and safely of the British Columbians.” Which, I actually agree with. If I could vote and was a regular NDP voter, id rethink that. While Ive always respected NDP, I think it’s a bit selfish to call an election a year early, during a pandemic. By calling this election, Horgan is breaking a four year confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party. Formed in 2017, and founded on the principal of “good faith and no surprises” the pact assured the Green Party support’s on matters of confidence.

Andrew Wilkinson!

Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson said Horgan was “putting politics over people.” Which agrees with what I just said. On the health side of it all, Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer was not consulted prior to this election, which I think is very odd. “My role is to provide advice around the health of the population,” she said. “And that is what I will continue to focus on.” She is now focused on how to prepare for an election during a pandemic. An Angus Reid Institute poll found that one in three B.C.ers were uncomfortable heading to the polls in-person given the threat of COVID-19.

I should babble about this for a long time, as theres countless POV’s and statements from the parties. But the question I leave here, that only us after October 24 will know is, will voters punish Horgan for calling an election in a pandemic?