We have just finished a unit in humanities called the people’s podcast unit. For this, our driving question was:
How has the “Canadian Experience” been different for minorities?
This unit was a fairly long unit, as we started it in February and have just ended it midway through April. We had three main deliverables for this: a podcast about a field study, a written paper about literature, and our final podcast.
Deliverable I: Sounds of Chinatown
The assignment for this project was to create a short podcast showcasing the sounds of Vancouver’s Chinatown. We took a one day field study to tour Chinatown, and recorded our favourite sounds. Our focus on this visit was to help answer our driving question and to learn more about a piece of our city’s history that most of us knew very little about.
On our visit, we toured in and around the city, through both historic buildings and moderns ones. One of the most interesting stops for me and many of my classmates were the Mahjong halls. Chinese elders would come to the halls every afternoon to play Mahjong, an ancient Chinese strategy game. Although the room was incredible loud from all of the tiles clicking together, it was still fascinating to see the level of thought that had to be put in to these games.
Once we got back to school, we set to working on our podcasts using a combination of sounds that we recorded in Chinatown as well as voice overs to explain what we learned. Overall, I am very proud of my podcast because I feel like it audibly shows our visit very well, in combination with the knowledge that I learned. Listen to my podcast here!
Deliverable II: Positionality Paper
Another large part of this unit was our novel study. We read the book The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy, a story about a family living in Chinatown during the Second World War. This book was split into three sections, each one from a different point of view. Each section was from the perspective of one of the kids in the family, who each have had very different experiences despite living under the same roof. This book shows many conflicts and differing views within in, all from a child’s perspective. Some details are easy to miss, as they are sometimes being described by a child who doesn’t quite understand everything.
After reading this book, we started to outline a paper. This paper was to discuss how our perspectives shape the way we interpret literature, and we were to use examples from our own lives, from The Jade Peony, and from Wayson Choy’s life. I chose to talk very minimally about Wayson Choy and instead focused on myself and the novel. I discussed values in my paper, and showed how our relationships and worldview affect what we value most.
Deliverable III: Our Minority Podcasts
The last and largest deliverable to complete was a 15 minute group podcast. I was in a group with Luca OG and Emily, and we focused our podcast on the impact of chronic pain in Canada. This topic was especially interesting to me because it was a topic that I knew very little about. Since chronic pain is an invisible disability, it often isn’t treated the same as visible disabilities. We conducted multiple interviews to research this project, as well as putting in time to learn as much as we could before we started outlining.
Our podcast outline was split up into three main parts: chronic pain in history, chronic pain in the modern day, and personal stories. I was mainly in charge of writing about personal stories in this. We interviewed a teacher at our school named Ms. Ronsano to discuss the chronic pain disorders that she experiences in her daily life and how this affects her. I learned a lot about how pain affects people’s personal lives and careers through this interview.
We recorded our podcast as a group, and I think we did a very good job of letting all of our voices flow through it. I’m very proud of how this podcast turned out. I’d love it if you could give it a listen!