Learning from Zombies

Hello and welcome back to the blog.


Today we are discussing a whole project we completed whilst in Covid-19 quarantine and through online classes. We took this chance to study a topic that had relevance to our every day life which has drastically changed. We wanted to look into the connections between literary dystopias and real life amidst Covid-19. Our driving question for this project is:

How do literary dystopias help us understand what is happening now? 

To answer this question we started off by defining the word Utopia. We found out that a utopia is an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. Then, after discussing it more as a class, we were split into groups and Adam, Spencer and myself were tasked with creating a keynote presentation that described to the class what our perfect world would look like. we were told to have fun with it but also get across a few core ideas. I wish I could tell you the chain of events and ideas that lead to this keynote presentation, but sadly I have no idea how we came up with this. Our perfect world is called Berenstein and is run by a family of immortal bears.

Our utopia is a perfect place where everyone is equal and happy. The rules aren’t much different than our lives in Canada right now but we thought that our ideal utopia should be similar but with a few improvements. Overall it was a fun mini project that got the gears turning regarding fictional utopias and dystopias. I found that it helped me personally get a better idea of the structure of fictional worlds work, which was very helpful for the next part of the unit.

The next phase of the project was a novel study. We had a choice of 4 books to read, all about different fictional dystopias. The books were 1984, Station Eleven, Handmaids Tail and World War Z. I chose to read World War Z by Max Brooks, along with Izzy, Spencer and Robbie. Since we all chose the same book, we would be conducting group discussions every week about the novel and also completing the final project together which comes later. I thoroughly enjoyed this book actually, it was written in a different style compared to a typical narrative story. The main character was a nameless interviewer who travelled around the world after the zombie war that almost killed off the human race. He interviews countless people about their experiences during the war and recounts the entirety of the war through these short interviews. Anyone who had a story was interviewed, from suburban moms in the middle of the US to special agents in the mountains of Europe.

I personally found this book super interesting and very well written. Each interview was engaging and brought the story forward more every time. I was sceptical about the formatting of the book at first but after reading only a few chapters I was loving it. what I learned from this book is that literary dystopias have a lot of connections to real life. Even though this is a fictional book about zombies almost taking over the world, it connects to the Covid-19 crisis in many ways. My group and I dug up these connections while we were reading the book and solidified our ideas after reading. I thought what we came up with was really strong, and was excited to showcase it in our final product.

Which brings me to our video. Our video describes the connections between literary dystopias and real life by explaining our own answer to the driving question. After reading our novel we decided on this statement to answer the driving question:

Literary dystopias, while fictional, can give us insight into the ways human beings react emotionally to a worldwide pandemic.

We noticed that in the book World War Z that people all reacted differently when confronted with a dangerous situation, or just the thought of one. Lots of people who heard about the zombie virus spreading , when it was early on, took it seriously and began stocking supplies and getting somewhere safer. Lots of people also did the opposite however. These people did nothing to prepare themselves, and when it was almost too late they began panicking and thinking irrationally and erratic. It caused chaos and so many deaths. We noticed that this is happening in our world right now, but in a less scary way. It even reaches up to the government level, where the countries who took precautions early on are doing fine amidst this virus while countries who didn’t are struggling pretty bad. We used this to help us come up with our answer, that fictional dystopias still contain nonfiction elements, such as basic human behaviour. Lots of people behaved irrationally because of panic induced by a dangerous situation. This is happening today, and a slightly humorous example is the whole toilet paper shortage situation. People are panic buying a product that doesn’t protect them from the virus at all, but because of fear people are buying whatever they can, especially if everyone else is buying it.

In our video we wanted to show how people around the world are doing. People all have different experiences and opinions based on their location, age and occupation. So we set out to try to capture those different opinions through mock interviews. We decided on the style of interview because that is how it was done in our novel. We chose four “characters” that would best represent the broad views people have on Covid-19 in North America. Spencer was a doctor in Italy, I was an oil rig worker in Alberta, Robbie was a farmer from the US and also a protest sympasizer while Izzy was the interviewer. But enough talk, watch it for yourself.

Overall I found this project quite fun, ad also very interesting. I thought it was pretty cool how we could study a novel that’s not from a few hundred years ago but one about zombies and still create a project around it. It was super interesting and also somewhat creepy seeing how much the novel connects with life today during the Covid-19 virus. I learned about how fiction could impact our understandings of real life, which is something I’ve never give much thought. But after all, fiction comes from the real world so it would have to carry similarities in order for it to be any good. Im glad we did this project and it impacted me as a learner in that now I know how to better make connections between literature of any kind to relevant current events.


that’s all,


see you


Before we get on a plane to Vietnam for nearly 3 weeks, we have to learn some stuff first. That way we go into the trip with a good base of knowledge so that we kind of know what’s happening in the far away country across the world. The first big topic we’re tackling is the Political Spectrum and the main Political Ideologies.

Going into this unit, I had very limited knowledge of the political spectrum and all the different ideologies. I have never had an interest in politics, but I realized that it’s important to know about each ideology so I am aware of what’s happening in the world, even if I’m not interested in politics.
To start off this unit, we went through a quick but content heavy boot camp of sorts. It was in the form of a lecture, which took multiple classes to get through completely. During the lecture, we were taking detailed and specific notes. Mine are below:

These notes were meant to help us remember all the different values and help us see the differences between the many ideologies. These notes really helped me see how each one is different from all the others, with some similarities here and there. Writing these notes helped me organize all the information and visualize it a bit better so I could remember it better.
After we did these notes, we were quizzed everyday by our teachers to ensure we were retaining the information. Each day we had a 10 question quiz, and the questions were always the same. The quizzes differed in their format, one day the whole quiz was given verbally, one day was digital, and one day multiple choice on paper, etc.  These quizzes showed me that I barely knew anything  about politics, and I should do a little bit of research on my own time. We pretty much did the quizzes until every student got 10/10, or at least really close to it. I remember getting like 3/10 on the first quiz but by the end I’m pretty sure I got 10/10. It felt good to see my progress as I learned more and more.

The next phase of the project was to look at the political spectrum. I had heard of it before, that there’s a right side and a left side. But I never knew how it all worked or what it really meant. It is actually both simple and complicated at the same time.

One thing I learned about it is that it has a vertical scale too. The more towards the bottom you are, the more Libertarian your values are. This means you value freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgement with a skepticism of authority and state power. If you’re more authoritarian, you favour enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom. The left side is pure communism, and the right side pure facism, with ideologies like conservatism and Liberalism.
To find out where we fall on the political spectrum, we took a test on the political compass website. Below is my personal place on the political spectrum:

I would say that I agree with this. As you can see, I fell to the left, and slightly down. Being closer to the bottom means I’m more Libertarian than Authoritarian, which means I value political freedom, freedom of choice, and individual judgement and understanding. Being on the left side means that I support social equality and disagree with the idea of social class separation. Both of these statements about my position make sense to me, especially after learning more about the political spectrum.

Time To TPOL

Well, it’s that time of the year again. We’ve almost completed another school year, with only one more to go. I’m really excited for the summer, but I’m also really excited to start grade 12 in PLP. I want to push myself next year, now that I have found my talents and my niche in our PLP cohort. So, let me tell you why I think I’m a perfect candidate for PLP 12.


First off, I am a leader. As you may or may not know, I’m a fairly quiet person, but I tend to lead by example and inspire other classmates. I have been doing this for a while, but more recently have come to realize it. Examples of this include my Hanford video from earlier this fall, in which our whole class was tasked with making a video of our trip. I found that our video blew all the other ones out of the water. In that project, I was director, editor and main actor. The video was seen by the whole class and I remember seeing improvement in classmates videos for the second drafts.

Another more recent example is my Time Machine Project. This was another video but it was individual. I had my idea for this project right away, and yet it was quite ironic that I made a video about productivity and time blocking, but I started making the video 4 days before the due date. After creating the video, I was really happy with it. I knew it was good, and it was exactly what I was envisioning beforehand. I was really proud of my video, and I finished my blog post early. Then, in our PGP meeting, there was a chance to show our work with the class, and I knew in the back of my mind I should. But it was actually Simon, who had watched my video earlier, that convinced Ms. Maxwell to watch my video in front of 40 people. And now that I’m looking back at it, I’m glad we did. I remember after the PGP meeting, I got multiple compliments on my video from different PLP students from a few grade levels. My leadership has now extended past just my grade, and ever so slightly reaching the younger grades of PLP.

This is what I’ve grown the most in, as I said in my MPol from January. I want to continue to grow as a leader, and accepting me into PLP next year will be the best decision you’ll ever make. My leadership qualities will only get better and I’m excited to put them into action next year with our full-class horror movie.

Failure Recognition

Another reason why I’m a perfect candidate, I can recognize my weaknesses and failures. This year has been a struggle for me, adapting to Pre-calc and Physics has been a tough time. I suddenly had lots of trouble doing math, to the point where I had to study a lot for tests for the first time ever, and get a math tutor. I recognize that I’ve had a mediocre year in terms of work quality. There’s nothing I can point to and say that it’s incredible, or new or super-extremely creative. I feel that I didn’t push myself at all. All my work was just the minimum requirements of each assignment. This is something I don’t like at all, as I take pride in doing well. I have had to put a lot of time into math and physics, as I said earlier, and I also have been working part time. Overall I feel that having a skill of recognizing when you make a mistake or failure is just as important as doing something right. If I can realize my mistakes, I can fix them. As with anyone, I can learn from my mistakes and improve as a learner.

For example, my We Shall Overcome video. For this video I was partnered with Robbie Wharton. We had a good idea for our video but it relied heavily on research that we didn’t have yet. Then, when we got approved we started our research. And…. we couldn’t find anything. We looked and looked and looked. But we never found enough to make a great video. And then we just made a video anyways. And it was terrible.

What I’ve learned from this video is what we could’ve done to fix it. For one, we could have revised and completely restarted. But right after this video I got really sick, and I didn’t want to put all the next draft on Robbie. What we should’ve done is realized we have weak research, and made up for it with a creative video. But we have bad research and a boring video with Robbie sitting in a chair talking to the camera. But the important part is that I learned a lot from my mistakes. I knew my video was not great, and recognized it.  I made the mental note to improve next time, and the next video I made was my Time Machine video, which I thought was great.


To sum up this Tpol, I will be a great candidate and student in nexts years PLP 12 cohort. That is because of my leadership qualities that are on a constant uphill slope. As I get to know my classmates more, my respect for them grows, and I can be better leader. I know how to make great work, and inspire others. I don’t mind stepping out of my comfort zone and making something creative. I can both recognize and grow from my mistakes and failures, something that’s just as important as being creative.


I Made A Time Machine

This year we’ve been trying something new. It’s called the Personal Growth Plan, or PGP for short. It’s another class we participate in, and is a mandatory part of PLP. It is a course dedicated to increasing productivity, goal setting, and learning about the 7 Habits.

Over the course of the year we have been working in techniques and strategies to help us better organize and balance our homework and rest of our life. To cap off this years’ learning in this course, I’m answering the following question in this post:

“What do I know now that I wish I knew before?”

To start it off, I’ll talk about the first main aspect of PGP that we learned about. That is Productivity.


To start off the year, we were introduced to a new app. It’s called Things. This app is similar to the default reminders app for IOS phones and iPads, in that you can add tasks and to-dos for later. These to-dos can be set to repeat on certain days, and you can also set due dates for assignments. At first I didn’t think much of it, and then I slowly warmed up to it. When I was using it a lot, it was helping my productivity. I could easily keep track of my school assignments, for all subjects. But as time went on, I began using it less and less. And I started using my calendar even more.

The calendar works better for me, since it’s more visual and I can still do everything Things could do. It is currently what I’m using everyday, and I find I check it more often. This has boosted my productivity and organization since last year, because before I was relying solely on my memory and talking with friends. But not that I’m balancing a lot more classes, a part time job, and sports, it can get hectic.

My calendar has helped me a lot with another big aspect of productivity, something called timeblocking. It’s where you specifically book off time in your calendar to do certain activities. It ensures you have time for everything and organizes your entire day. This is what I focused on in my final product, which I’ll get to later.

The Productivity aspect of PGP has taught me a lot about organization, and I wish I knew about timeblocking and using my calendar sooner. It has impacted me a lot, and improved my workflow tenfold. Knowing about this would have saved me a lot of late nights and stress in the years prior to this one.

Goal Setting

The next part of PGP I’ll talk about is the goal setting. We started by reading a book called What do You Really Want? written by Beverly K. Bachel. It’s a guidebook specifically for teens about time management and goal setting. It took us through multiple activities to help us think about who we are and how to be more realistic in our goal setting based on who we are. For example, we had to make a goal ladder. This is a graphic organizer I guess, made to help us visualize the steps it takes to achieve that goal. It’s meant for longer term goals that have meany steps to get there. For example, here is one of mine:

The first goal ladder is a shorter version, and then I made an extension ladder as well. I tried to follow along with this, but I am not very good at physics so I’m a little far from an “A” unfortunately. A problem with this goal is that it was a little ambitious, and I wasn’t being very realistic when I made it. This is something I learned to recognize in my experience with goal setting in PGP. So, that is something I wish I had known before, how to accurately plan goals that were realistic and achievable.

The 7 Habits

The seven habits are habits you may have heard before. We looked at these from the very beginning of this year, and were to guide everything we did. We looked at each one of them in depth in the book What Do You Really Want, and participated in more worksheets and activities to get us thinking.


In the grand scheme of things, I found these useful, but I didn’t like doing it at the time. I didn’t see the worth, but now I realize that I use the habits in my life all the time, just not necessarily towards school. That’s why I made this video, for one of my creative reflections.

It was about how I didn’t apply these habits to school because I wasn’t motivated to. I never realized how that I was using the habits in activities like skiing, biking or going out with friends. As you could tell from the video above, I need to apply the habits to my schoolwork and homework, and if I do, I will accomplish a lot. I wish I had recognized this before, and started practicing this sooner.

And now, to discuss the final project. The Time Machine.

The goal of this project was to create an artifact that showed ONE aspect of PGP and how it helped us in our lives. We would make this artifact as if we were to give it to the September 2018 versions of ourselves. It would need to show something we wish we knew earlier, hence the driving question at the top of this post. My chosen aspect was timeblocking, as I found it the most realistic and helpful. So without further ado, my final product.

While filming this video, I didn’t really know how it would workout. But after editing it, I’m really happy with the outcome. It’s simple yet it gets a point across in an engaging way, as you have to be watching for “clues” to how my day is going since there’s no dialogue.

The Personal Growth Plan has taught me a fair bit. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but the whole year I knew that it would help me. It’s taught me a lot about productivity, goal setting and the 7 habits, as I said in the beginning. These are things that I’m glad I learned about, as I think in regular school this would never have been shown to us at all. I think that I will benefit from this course for the rest of my life, and I’ll continue to timeblock anything and everything. Overall timeblocking has shaped me to be a better, more organized student. I wish I would’ve known how much better I could be if I used it from the beginning in September. But, I guess that’s what this project is for.


Thats all,


See ya


The Earth On The Edge

Hey, it’s blog post time.

Recently in PLP humanities, we’ve been studying the 1960’s closely. We started this year with the Second World War, and continued on through the fifties, and now have finished the sixties. We have now completed the Cold War as well, something that turned out to be way more interesting than I had first thought. And our final assignment was an essay.

This essay would be written by us, and the goal was to convince the reader that one point in the Cold War was the closest the world has ever been to nuclear destruction. So we needed to choose a decision, event, person, interaction, etc, that we thought was the height of the Cold War. We had to choose a specific topic that wasn’t too broad, for example, the Cuban Missile Crisis Of 1962 was too broad and wouldn’t be as strong as a more focused topic. I decided to write my essay on the decision JFK made to quarantine Cuba to try to stop the Soviets from importing more nuclear weapons into Cuba. This is what I thought to be the closest the world has ever been to nuclear war.

World War Two is now finally over. Everyone should be happy, but America is scared. A rival nation superpower has just installed missiles too close to home. This brought on the very real possibility that millions of Americans could be dead in just 5 minutes. And this was not acceptable. America, one of the greatest nations on the globe, is threatened and running out of time. President Kennedy had to make a decision, and it needed to work. He was facing intense public fear and the possibility of nuclear war as retaliation. Ultimately, if it went wrong, the world’s population would pay the price. The American decision to quarantine Cuba in 1962 brought the whole world the closest it has ever been to nuclear war.

The knowledge of nuclear missiles being installed in Cuba intensified the already growing American public fear and was an influence on JFK’S decision to quarantine Cuba. Since 1949, when Americans found out they weren’t the only ones with nuclear weapon capabilities, there was fear. Home bomb shelters were available as a product, but were widely dismissed as paranoia. Then when the close proximity of Soviet nuclear missiles was known, bomb shelters seemed a viable solution to imminent war. In an article, Marta Schaff discusses how in a span of 3 years, the number of constructed bomb shelters rose from a mere 1,500 to 200,000, but the more impressive fact is how 40% of the entire American population was considering building their own shelter. At the least, people were scared, “and families possessed shelters that were stocked with food, water, and in many cases, a shotgun.” Extreme public fear was real and surely factored in Kennedy’s decision. In his televised speech in 1961, President Kennedy states that even though America is a peaceful nation, during the Cold War, the country has unfortunately adapted to living with a soviet bullseye on their backs. Once the nuclear weapons are found in Cuba, the president says that, “aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged ultimately leads to war.” He knows that the situation has been escalated, and so he must make a more agressive decision to keep his country safe. President Kennedy’s decision, no matter what he decided, could very well end in nuclear retaliation from the Soviets, and it was a risk Kennedy had to take. The longer he waited, the more nuclear weapons were made active in Cuba.

Results from American U2 spy photography planes revealed escalations in construction of missile silos and military infrastructure in Cuba. This information proved the Soviets wrong when they said, "the armaments and military equipment sent to Cuba are designed exclusively for defensive purposes," which shows the Americans that the Soviets were hiding their true motives. President Kennedy then states how America has never moved or transferred missiles of that capacity “under a cloak of secrecy and deception,” or with the intent “to dominate or conquer any other nation.” The Soviet Union has committed an act of war. Kennedy then orders the quarantine. This physical action by the Americans, putting naval battleships in front of Cuba, could have triggered nuclear retaliation. The Soviet ships could have not stopped at the blockade, prompting the Americans to open fire upon their ships, and likely setting off a nuclear answer. In that moment, the world was at its closest to nuclear war between two superpower nations on opposite sides of the globe.

President Kennedy faced an impossible dilemma but as history shows, he made the right decision. By “quarantining” Cuba, the Soviet Union was forced to recall their fleet of ships from Cuba, or attack and start a nuclear war. America put the starting gun in the Soviets hand, and no rounds were fired. An intense and dramatic build up to the this moment made families construct bomb shelters and hoard food, just in case. It was as close to nuclear war as our world has ever been. All because of one decision.

And that was my essay. At first, I knew what I wanted to write about. I got my topic, and finished my thesis, introduction and conclusion, but once it got to the body paragraphs, I lost all direction. I was confused about how I would get my point across, and I didn’t know where to start. I worked through all my information and checked my notes, and eventually I found a beginning. Then once I got writing and found good quotes, I was able to finish my essay strong. And then, I had finished the final project.

I usually don’t mind writing essays, as I am a confident writer, but this essay really stumped me. I hit a big writers block halfway through and it was a really slow process for about 4 days. But I did learn more about being specific and meticulous in order to have a stronger argument, and how different types of writing get different points across. Overall the essay was not too bad for me, and I realized how much history I had learned when talking about my essay to my parents. I could explain the timeline of the Cold War pretty accurately and the political standpoints of each side of the war as well.

But before all of this, we had a unit to get through. And the very first thing we did was watch a movie. It’s called Thirteen Days.

This movie follows closely the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and tells the story from the perspective of the American government. It was actually a way better movie than what I thought it would be, other than random shots of fake explosions happening here and there. It went through the events of the 13 days where the missile crisis was at its height, and showed what it was like to be an American at that time. It really showed me personally how the country really thought they could get blown up ant any minute. It was really interesting, and set the tone for the rest of the unit.

Most of the research and learning we did in this unit was through films, like YouTube videos and CNN’s TV series, “The Sixties,” as well as in class discussions and lectures. We went over topics like the U2 Spy Plane Incident, the Space Race, the Bay Of Pigs, the Vienna Meeting, and of course the Cuban Missile Crisis.


But specific to this post, we had to create a visual after researching a social change in the 1960’s. I chose to write about Cesar Chavez, who was an American Civil rights activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union in 1962. Below is my visual and my paragraph.

Cesar Chavez was just a small boy working in the fields of California. His family of six worked hard to get by, and Cesar dropped out of school after seventh grade to prevent his mother from having to work. Later in his life, he became an American activist in a time where the whole country’s ideals and cultures were shifting. He led the Latino farmer community on strikes and rallies, protesting equal pay, such as the Delano Grape Strike Of 1965. He helped lead and organize many more protests throughout the entirety of the 1960’s and even into the 70’s fighting for rights as farm workers. He pushed back against society, as farm workers were forced to work in hard and terrible conditions, for little pay. He really created an impact on America, after creating a Union to protect Californian farm workers, and showed giving people “a sense of their own power.” He knew the hardships of the fields all too well, and dedicated his life to making the farm workers’ like a little better. He showed the country how people were being treated, forced to work hard for nearly nothing at all. It opened the eyes of people who were seeing change happen everywhere they looked. The 1960’s were a time of change, and Cesar Chavez knew it.


My visual is a combination of four images, from the fields, through his many protests. And the Spanish text is a phrase he often said, it means “Yes, it can be done.”  I overlayed that to show how over his lifetime, he completed what he set out for, even through hardships.

To finish off my post, I’ll say what I thought of it. For the most part, the Cold War was way more interesting than I thought it would be, and  I feel I learned a lot. I’d always heard about the Cold War, without knowing what it really was, and just thought it was where America was really mad at the Russians for something that happened in WWII. But, it turns out, that’s only scratching the surface, if you consider it correct at all. I enjoyed this unit, but not so much the final product. We usually end a unit with a video to show out understanding, which is more my forte. But this time we had an essay to write, which I guess wasn’t the end of the world. I feel I did well. So, that’s that. Onto the next decade of American history. Bring it.


Thats it.

See you.

Your Microwave Is More Dangerous Than You Think

Before the end of the year, and before we studied for our numeracy exam at the end of the year we quickly did a short astronomy unit. This was a research project on a topic of our choice.

We started off by downloading a star chart app and looking around our universe. We then went through a worksheet about the position of the moon and sun at different times of the year. This assignment didn’t take too long and was meant to be an intro to the unit. After this, we got right into the project.

We then got the project topics:

  • Radioactivity and radiation in space
  • Nuclear reactions (how stars work)
  • Possibility of colonizing other planets (Mars or the Moon)
  • Star life cycles
  • Evidence for the big bang formation of the universe
  • First nations’ stories of creation
  • Components and scale of our solar system
  • Telescopes and astronomical measurement

Me and Simon ended up with the topic Radioactivity and radiation in space. We then began our research. Since Spencer and Alex were also doing our topic and they were mainly focusing on radioactivity, we decided to research more about radiation.

Our driving question we decided to research was:

“Does radiation pose a threat to space exploration?

To start off our project, we found the definition of radiation:

We then inserted that into our presentation, and kept researching. We then looked into how space radiation is different and how it can be prevented or blocked. We looked into how the particles in the radiation in Space are travelling at incredibly high speeds, almost as fast as the speed of light. These particles then can rip through human DNA, damaging or altering the structure of that DNA. This damage can then lead to cancer and other diseases depending on the exposure.

We also looked into how Earth blocks out unwanted radiation. The earth has a natural shield to 99.9% of all radiation. The magnetic field around the Earth reflects some radiation in Space, and some is absorbed, warming the earth. Some radiation is trapped inside the magnetic field and is a factor in the rising problem of global warming.

So, to answer our question: “Does radiation pose a threat to space exploration?” The answer is yes, greatly. NASA wants to send astronauts to mars, but the constant lethal factor of radiation in Space is not to be forgotten. When you are in Space, you are constantly bombarded by radiation, and so the radiation protection for any astronauts must be perfect.

Once we were done our project, and we had listened/watched our classmates present their projects, we then made mind maps showing how all our topics connect. Here it is below:

Overall, I found out some new information I didn’t know before like how radiation particles actually damage DNA. This project helped me see how difficult it is to be in space, and how smart and careful every astronaut must be in the space environment. Me and Simon had some fun and learned some new things, which in my book is a good project to me.


Thats all,

See you

Following A Guy Around His Office

Welcome all

This is another post about school, but this time it took place outside of Seycove. As part of our Planning 10 course, we were given the task to contact someone in a career field we were interested in, and then perform and one day job shadow.

The first step is to make a list of people or careers we were interested in. At this time I really didn’t know what I wanted to do for my career, and so at first I didn’t have any ideas on who to shadow. No jobs really stood out to me as my “Dream Job.” But I made a short list of people I knew:

  • My cousins Grandpa, Harold, he is a home construction and renovation contractor for expensive homes in the Abbotsford and Vancouver area.
  • My Uncle, Ryan, a spray foam and construction business owner
  • My Dad’s cousin Andrew, a Sportsnet Radio Host in Vancouver

After making this list I thought about my preferences, and continued looking around if any other jobs interested me. I had a few other ideas but in the end I went with my dad’s cousin Andrew, as I thought job shadowing a sports radio host would be pretty cool.

And it was.

My day started at 2:00 on a Thursday in May. I didn’t miss any school, unfortunately, because I had a spare last block that day. My dad dropped me off at the Sportsnet 650 Radio office in downtown Vancouver and we met up with Andrew.

He brought us into the building, a small and quiet office building where Sportsnet had set up its offices and recording booths. In the same building were other Vancouver radio shows, some quite popular, like Kiss Radio, Jack 96.9, and News 1130. Sportsnet 650 had just joined the building on September 4th this year.

The entrance to the building

Andrew showed me around, and he started at his office. He shared an office room with 3-4 other people, where they all could work on preparing for the show, and talking with each other about ideas they have about what they could talk about on the air. The main part of what they were doing then was browsing the media around sports in Vancouver, such as player trades, exciting scores and sports games in general. They also looked for people to interview on later days in the show. The day I was there was a bit different because the guy they wanted to interview was going to be on a plane when the show was on air. What they did to solve this problem was call him ahead of time, and record it so that they can just add it when they need it as if it was live. The software they used to record and edit this looked a lot like the app I use called Ferrite.

I thought this was cool to see because instead of just trying to find someone else to interview they came up with a solution that worked really well. So later on, when they were on air, they just hit play on the recording and it was as if the recording was live. But we’ll get to that soon.

The Vancouver Show

For the first 2 hours, I was sitting next to Andrew at his desk where he was working on putting all his ideas together. He has had a lot of experience in this field, as he worked for Sportsnet out in Toronto for a few years, and just recently moved out here to do the show in Vancouver. He told me that in Toronto, there is a lot more sports to talk about because they have the Blue Jays, Raptors, and Maple Leafs home to Toronto, and Vancouver only has the Canucks. And, in Toronto the show was a bigger deal and the office was more fancy but he said the Vancouver one is still good.

This was his Toronto Show

Once the show started at 4:00, I sat in the “Control Booth” with the Producer Technical Supervisor right next to the recording room where Andrew and his co-worker sat talking on the air. His co-host wasn’t there that day so his co-worker stepped in to talk with Andrew.

So from 4:00 until 7:00 pm I was in the control booth, and I thought this was pretty cool. For me, if I was to work at this job, I’d rather be behind the scenes like the two guys with me, Art and Cam, than in Andrew’s position as I’m not too great at speaking on the spot. Art and Cam were both at computers, and we could hear what Andrew was saying. They could communicate with Andrew without the audience knowing, and that helped keep the show in order. Art and Cams job was to play recordings, like the interview from earlier, advertisements and sports clips at the right time. Overall this part was awesome to see what goes into a good radio show.

Once Andrew was done, we got in his Jeep and he drove me home. Because he was busy earlier, I asked him the questions I had prepared before coming on the job shadow.

These are my questions and his answers:

Job Shadow Q&A-2ev0yp6

Overall, I found this Job Shadow really interesting. I learned a lot about what it’s like being a radio host, and the other jobs surrounding the radio show. I met a bunch of other people, some were other radio announcers at different times in the day, and some people were editions or as pretty cool to see.

I also really liked seeing the media side of the job. Andrew was always keeping up to date on all the social media platforms on any sports event that happened. I thought this was very interesting because then every show he does will be different. Something he does is something we do a lot of in PLP right now. We research a topic, break it down, ask questions,  form an opinion on it, make a project, and then present it. This is what his daily schedule is. I really liked seeing what we’ve been learning in PLP applied in the real world. This is definitely going to help me plan out my career options in the future m

In conclusion I had a ton of fun on this job shadow, and learned a lot. Once again, thanks to Andrew and his office for letting me join you for a day!


See you

Guatemala Is The Place To Go

I know my trip was a while back, but I want to tell you about it. Me and my family went there because my parents have friends that actually live there on a base, and a base it is!
It is a collection of houses that a bunch of people who are working for an organization called Fe Viva. They help out around the area and the community. The houses are surrounded by a huge concrete wall with barbed wire and broken glass on top.

This wall encircled the whole base to keep out thieves.

In the base there is also an orphanage and a playground for those kids. Except, when I was there with my family, the kids weren’t there because the government took them all out and put them in different foster homes before we got there.

The empty kids orphanage.

Anyways, when we got there we stayed in a nice house, but it was still hot wherever you went.

We stayed here for the week we were in this part of Guatemala

A range during the day from 26° – 35°C.
On the first day we built 3 picnic tables out of wood, so we could deliver them to poor families later on in the week. When we did deliver the first one the next day, we first drove way out of the city where the base was into the country.

Timelapse of the drive out to the homes.

Here, the people were really poor. If they were lucky their houses were concrete boxes with holes for windows and doors. Others had sheet metal, wood and tarp houses but almost all the houses had dirt floors.

Wall surrounding poor house.

Imagine that, living in filth your whole life, everyday. We are so lucky. We picked up a Guatemalan family that my parents friends knew because they would take us to the families that needed the tables. The first family we went to was a single mother with two kids, a boy and a girl both around the age 5-7. The boy was deaf in one ear. The mother had kept her yard very clean, and bursting with beautiful flowers and colours. It was inspiring to see that even in the dirtiest and poorest areas, there was still beauty and care. The joy and thankfulness on the family’s faces was worth all the effort when they received the picnic table. And although they spoke Spanish we could still communicate a little, even without the translation going through my parents friends, (they could speak Spanish almost fluently). We went to the next house, and still, poorest of the poor, but still were happy and kind.
Later on in the week we set out pieces of an awesome obstacle course that was already built, and to be used by kids from a church in the community. They came and we all had a run at the obstacle course in the base. It was very cool to see the other kids participating in athletic activities. Most of the boys ran it in their socks, just because they didn’t want to get their only pair of shoes: dress shoes, dirty.

We also went on an awesome auto safari, where we got to drive by all kinds of animals you would never see in Vancouver, or Canada, for that matter.

Selfie with a giraffe👌🏻

Me feeding the giraffe


We ended up also doing a kids program in a mountain village nearby. We went their and played soccer with the boys, and made friendship bracelets with the girls. All the kids were from ages 4-9 and they were very good at soccer. It was a lot of fun, we also did some skits and at the end, fireworks. In Guatemala you can launch fireworks whenever you want, but there were a lot of people firing them because it was New Years. The kids ran right up to the fireworks and started kicking them when they were still live!! They were not scared.

My little sister with the kids

Hanging out with the mountain village kids!

Some big trees there!

After a week of staying in the base, me and my family drove an hour to a more touristy city called Antigua. It’s amazing there. All the streets are cobblestone and there is an awesome market there where Guatemalans set up their small stores and sell anything from blankets to brass knuckles. It was very interesting to see what the people do for money compared to us. Most of the products they sell are hand made by them, like that paintings and blankets.

We also went ziplining once, which was amazing, but sadly I couldn’t bring my GoPro with me, even though it would have been amazing. We went over a huge canyon but we were in a superman position, where our legs and chest were held up so all we had to do was enjoy the ride. It was awesome.

Overall the whole trip was incredible, and I’m going to remember it for a very long time and I would love to go again.

The last family t receive a picnic table

My family eating at an amazing restaurant in Antigua

Seattle Is a Crazy One


A while back, from December 1st to 3rd, me and my PLP class went to Seattle for field school. We were there to research and film for our Seattle Crazy Ones video.

We were studying how certain people changed the worldview of the community around them. We were split into groups, and it was me, Robbie and Aiden looking at the Wright brothers.

Each group or business that other groups were studying were tied somehow to Seattle, and that’s why we were going to Seattle. We needed to create storyboards for a video we would create on our person, and explain with our own footage and interviews why the Wright Brothers were Crazy Ones.

We all needed to plan very carefully because we didn’t have time during the trip to change anything, we had a tight schedule. We wrote out our story boards and what we needed to film, and wrote out what we would ask the people we would interview. We ended up asking them one basic question: “What do you know about the Wright Brothers?” We got some pretty good responses, they would work perfectly with our videos since the point we were trying to prove was that not many people know the full story of the Wright Brothers.
So, anyways we left for Seattle with a decent plan for our video. We went to many places, the EMP museum, the Chihuly Glass Gardens, and Microsoft. We learned and film about the Wright Brothers in the EMP and interviewed people there. The whole trip was really fun, same with creating our videos when we got back. Here’s some photos and video of our trip that I still have:

And down below are two short clips of us filming for the video. Overall, the trip was lots of fun , and the video creation awesome as well.


Do You Think Different?


A while ago in PLP 9, we were about to go to Seattle for field school, and after that we would do a big project on that trip. The project would be a video explaining how a certain group or company is different from the rest. But before all this, we did a mini version of this project to make sure we were ready. Our teachers showed us a video that was an advertisement for Apple in the 1997 called Think Different.


It features many public figures in our history that have stood out and changed the way we look at the worldview. For example, Muhammad Ali, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr, and many more like them. In class, we had to choose from a big list of people like them to do videos on why they “Thought Different”. My person to do the video on was Muhammad Ali, and why he was different from everyone else.

Because we had to compete for our people we wanted, I was excited to do the video since I got the person I wanted, Muhammed Ali. When I started, all I knew was that Muhammad Ali was a good boxer from a while back, and he just recently died. I started my research with watching videos about his life and boxing career and what he did that was crazy. I found out so much more about his life and who he was.

To start off the actual video creation, I do what I almost always do with Explain Everything’s, (a video app), I make a script and then record all my audio first. Then I go in and add in photos and clip art that help bring the video alive and explain what I’m saying in a visual way. The entire video took me almost four hours to create, when it is only four minutes long!

Because I enjoyed the topic, did my research well, and came out with a great finished product, I was very proud of myself because I, all by myself, created my first four minute long video from scratch.