Our shared living room

Hey folks, it’s me Randy again.

I just finished another project, and I want to share and reflect it with you. We started this project a month ago, it’s quite a short project compare to the other ones. Everything seemed pretty straight forward, we had to do some research and write an essay. The driving question of this project is “What significant developments occurred after WW2 in Vancouver and across Canada?” We used examples on the North Shore to answer this question, and to write multi-paragraph compositions. We are collaborating the the Museum of North Vancouver in this project, and the finished product will be a collection of the class’s essays, AKA a magazine. Check it out here: North Van History Highlights

I chose community centres as my topic, specifically Parkgate community centre and the Deepcove Dancehall. I think local facilities like community centres have had a lot of changes since the end of WW2, as population grew bigger, new communities have formed, and new community centres have been built as well. So I decided to dive deeper into this train of thought: How do community centres like Parkgate improve our quality of living in Canada, and why are they nationally significant?

Before my researching stage, I had to make sure whether our topics are really significant or not. So we had a lesson on how to identify the significance of an event. There are three big criteria when it comes to significance, how notable it was at the time, how widespread and lasting the consequences were, and how symbolic it is. I think my topic isn’t so significant by itself, but it connects to a big picture. The improvement of living quality can’t be defined from just one perspective, because there are too many factors that effect our lives everyday. Other than our essential needs for living, and our education, the local facility is a key factor of quality of living as well. All the libraries, swimming pools, and local gyms are community centres that we have access to. These local facilities seems nature for us to use every day, but have you ever wondered why they exist?

Humans live in communities, and there’s always been community centres. But the definition of a “community centre” has changed dramatically overtime. The community centres in the past were like places to hangout, but after years of development, the community centres now are able to provide low cost and unique programs. I started doing research on the community centres around me, like Parkgate and the dance hall. I tried including as much details as possible, but there aren’t so many sources out there. Community centres like “Seycove community centre” doesn’t exist anymore, so the history of it is seen as irrelevant to most people. I gathered most of my information from books and websites of the present community centres. I ended up not using Seycove community centre as an example because I didn’t have evidences to support my statements. I learned from the past that my opinion means nothing, without evidences.

As we finished up researching our topics, we had some literacy practices. Writing an essay is like a first time experience in PLP, and personally I have rarely written any essays since I moved to Canada. We started thing off with thesis statements, we needed to summarize our knowledge and form them into a convincing statement. It’s like an introduction that roughly summarizes what you will talk about for the rest of the essay.

My biggest take away of this project was the hook. The hook is one the most important part of an essay if not the most. A good hook should make the reader want to know what happens next. Nowadays, it’s super difficult to get people interested on a piece of writing, and without a good hook, no one is gonna bother reading your essay. I had a hard time coming up with a hook myself, I asked people for advice, made several revisions, but eventually I had a good one:

“What are some of the factors that affect our quality of life? is it only our education, living environment, and the food we consume? What about the community centres that you drive past every morning. They might not be so noticeable in our daily lives but they all play significant roles in improving the quality of life in North Vancouver. Let me tell you about the national significance of the development of community centres in Canada after WW2 and how community centres like Parkgate in North Vancouver significantly improved the quality of living in Canada.”

This is my final draft of the hook. If you are somewhat hooked by it, then consider reading my multi-paragraph composition! Check it out here:

I’m glad that I had the opportunity to research on a topic of my interest, and I find it fascinating to learn new writing technics. In the future I’ll be writing better hooks and use more evidences to support my opinions, so stay tone for more exciting project reflections!


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