How well do you know your community. Well recently I’ve learned I didn’t know Deep Cove as well as I thought I did. In our recut project we did a deep dive on the history of our community. We, as a class, picked individual topics to focus on and then connect the history of our community to how Canada changed in the post-war era by answering the question- What significant changes occurred in North Vancouver and across Canada in the post-war era?

The hardest part for me was picking a topic, I’ve struggled in the past with this. Most project that involve picking an individual topic are quite hard for me because when I find a topic I usually go down a rabbit hole of research and end up finding a topic I like more. And by no surprise I did it again this project. This time what I found harder then usual was finding a topic that interests me and that I can connect to Canada AND the post war era. Eventually I landed on the topic of the Cleveland Dam and the decisions between environment and infrastructure.  I’m very passionate about the environment so this made it easy for me to be inspired. Then I learnt that doing research about the post war era was difficult because there was no internet back then. This made it a challenge to find credible and accurate sources. I love doing research so I took it as a challenge. The final product for this project was an essay we would put into an online “zine” that would be published on the MONOVA website.  This was a lot of new things for me because I’ve never written an essay before or read a magazine. 

The first step in my essay was a thesis statement, which as I discovered is harder then it looks. It took me way longer then I thought it would take me to write a single sentence. I had to figure out how to sum up all the ideas in my head into one singular sentence that answered our crucial question. In the end, after lots of revision this was my final thesis statement.

Understanding the environmental impacts of the Cleveland dam, can help Canadians appreciate the sacrifices made to develop infrastructure in the post-war era. 

Now came the fun part, writing the essay. First I had to learn how to do this. We looked at other peoples essays and read experts guides on formatting an essay, seeing others peoples essays was extremely helpful to me because I feel as though I learn best by seeing examples or seeing someone else do it first. I tell people sometimes when they ask “if your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump too?” to which I reply, I’d have to see how they landed before I jumped. Once I wrote my essay I was quite proud of myself, I thought I would have much more revision then I did. I know that revision is a good thing because it means your learning but it was refreshing to feel like I understood something in the first try. Just when I thought we were done I realized we now got to turn it into a magazine page. This took so much patience because the app kept crashing and the formatting was frustrating and my images weren’t lining up but I took it as a chance to remind myself to breath and not throw my iPad across the class. I finally finished and here’s the final product!

In the past I’ve tied in conservation and the environment into my project like Think You Can Do Better, when I made media and an argument about environment vs the economy .In this project we created a political party that was very environmental based. In this project I learnt the importance of learning about how the issue of us destroying the environment started. Going back and looking the history and it gave me perspective on this issue. Before I though it was more black and white then it was, I thought that the decisions that are harming the environment were easier to make. But the people making these decisions also have to take the economy and infrastructure into account. So looking at the past of this is important.

Something else I learned in this project, which I feel is important to add, is that I learnt how helpful it can be to ask for help. It sounds like an obvious thing but I’ve always struggled with it.  My mom always tells this story of when I was in Kindergarten and I was supposed to get someone to walk home with me from school but when she didn’t show up to walk me I would simply walk myself home, at 5 years old because I refused to ask for help! Thank you to the people who helped me with this and supported me in making a product I’m proud of! 

Until next project…