Conceptual War

The end of grade 11. We have just finished another year of high school. I can’t really believe it’s over and that summer is here already.

To finish off our year, we were tasked with yet another end of the year exhibition. And this one was like no other one we’ve done before.

Let me tell you all about it.

To start off this unit we took a trip to an art museum. The Vancouver Art Gallery, to be more specific. This was just an afternoon excursion, we were only there for no more than 2 hours. But those two hours were actually very helpful for me. We saw things like this, hanging from the ceiling:

We were expected to accept that it’s art, even though they suspiciously look like giant blue testicles. Art like this was all over the museum we were visiting, and I really saw how the visual element of the art did not have to be related to the idea that was behind it at all. This is the greatest impact left on me after going to the museum. And it really got me thinking.

The next part of the final project was to learn as much as we could about the Vietnam war. And to do this, our teachers prepared us with really deep, content-packed packages documenting different aspects of the war. The information was split up into themes, and was filled with questions, thinking prompts, and video. We would work through it for a full two weeks while our teachers were away, and when they got back, they tested our knowledge with a test. Half multiple choice, half open ended written questions. I definitely feel I could’ve tried to retain a bit more information, which then I could’ve used to deepen my understanding on my questions responses. But I was already thinking about my art piece.

We had to start with a thesis. I knew I wanted to focus on a certain ideal that I discovered while researching. It’s called “American Exceptionalism.” When I read about it, I was a little baffled because I didn’t know this was an actual thing. I knew Americans thought they were great but I mean, I didn’t know it was a full on accepted ideology. Now I just had to relate this to conceptual art.

After looking at more examples of conceptual art like the ones above, I started getting ideas. At first, they were pretty bad. Boring and way too literal. I knew I really didn’t want my piece to be really literal, where people could figure it out on their own. I wanted them to be confused, and then blow their minds when I explained it. My ideas were getting better and better, but before I knew it, the exhibition was 3 days away. I planned on making a tape man, a life size soldier filled with fake American dollars and little green army men, symbolizing how the idea of American Exceptionalism was filled with billions of Americans dollars and thousands of Americans lives. But, then I walked into school on Monday and saw that Robert Gary Wharton had beaten me to the tape man idea.

So I just needed to represent American Exceptionalism another way. And then I struck gold. This is what I found:

And that’s what brought me to my final product, which is below:

The Explanation

Now I’m sure you’re probably wondering what the heck that wooden bow-tie looking thing has to do with the word hubris, and the Vietnam war of course. Well, let me enlighten you. The brown object on the pedestal are wings, and as a whole they represent American Exceptionalism (AE), the idea that America was the greatest country ever, with a duty to protect freedom anywhere on the globe. They are wings because of the second definition of hubris, relating to Greek mythology. They are the wings of Icarus, who was too confident in his wax wings and flew too close to the sun, just before plummeting to his death. The burn marks on the wings represent how the idea of AE was taking damage during the Vietnam war, since the guerrilla fighters were winning. The American money was patching those holes representing how the American government poured billions of dollars into the war just to keep the idea of AE “flying,” even when they knew they couldn’t win. The newspaper wrapped on the stand signify how the American government was twisting the truth on the war progress, telling the public that the war was going in their favour through media, when in reality, their idea of AE had flown too close to the sun. And lastly, the backpack straps and handles represent how this idea could be picked up and worn by anyone, and could result in dangerous consequences if not worn carefully.

Phew, that was a lot to take in.

This project started out not too exciting for me, but as it went on, I realized how much learning I had done. I learned way more about the Vietnam war than I had thought, through our research package and just my own curiosity. I also learned a lot about conceptual art, something I knew incredibly little about, but it opened my eyes to the minimal limits of art. It also taught me how to connect detailed and specific ideas I had based on creativity, understanding, and research. I’m really glad we did this unit and I was really proud of my final product.


Thats all,


see you


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.

We Shall Overcome

Welcome back, it has been a while.


Before spring break started 2 weeks ago, we were just wrapping up our Civil Rights Movement unit. This unit followed the events in American history during the 50’s and 60’s concerning the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. So, for the last few months, we’ve been studying the many events that took place during the movement, how it all started and how it relates to today’s time.

In this unit, there were 3 main parts. First step, a blog post comparing a person or event from the civil rights movement with one from today. I decided to compare the actions of Martin Luther King Jr with P.K. Subban, a NHL player. Below is my post about the topic.

The Civil Rights Movement, Today

I actually really liked writing this post, as I found I was really interested in my argument. I found some good research that interested me outside of school in a way, as in it’s something that I would have looked into even if it wasn’t a school assignment. I looked into P.K. Subban standing up for a younger hockey player  who was experiencing racial taunting and felt discouraged. I compared his public actions to MLK and argued that for a change to come, an individual must publicly voice their opinion for a change. I learned a lot about how history can repeat itself, and that there are obvious similarities between events in history if you look hard enough.

The next step of our unit was to read a novel. This we started near the beginning of the unit, and then read through 8 chapters a week for 3 weeks. I found this book really interesting, and sort of eye-opening. It was called Dear Martin, written by Nic Stone. This book followed the life of an African American student who is in his last year of high school, and set for the Ivy League. Justyce McAllister goes through a rollercoaster of emotions as he experiences firsthand the effects and prevalence of racism in his community. He documents his feelings of frustration and lack of motivation to keep pushing through in a journal written to Martin Luke’s King Jr. This book is a must-read for a different perspective on racism in our life today.

This book impacted me through showing the other side of the story in a way. I have always known about racism, and police bias and brutality but I’d never really read about or seen it at all. I learned about how much the system can be manipulated by people in control and how the way the story is told on the media effects the public perspective.


Moving on,


The next in class assignments we did were these things called Socratic Seminars. After hearing the name, I was a little confused because whatever these were already sounded boring. But, as it turns out, they were really fun. Basically, every Friday for four weeks, we would sit in a circle of 9 students, with a partner sitting behind everyone in the inner circle. The inner circle would be given 20 minutes to talk about a text or video we have been studying in class. The talk was totally free, and our teachers weren’t involved. As a group, we’d ask questions and respond in ways meant to further and expand our understanding of the text/video.

For the first two weeks, our seminars were based on the first 16 chapters in Dear Martin, and the last two weeks were based on movies we watched about the Civil Rights Movement. These Socratic seminars, something I thought were going to be boring, were actually the opposite. I learned a lot more about the aspects of Dear Martin than if I would’ve just read it on my own. Even though I wasn’t the #1 speaker all the time, I enjoyed listening to everyone’s ideas and just where the conversation went. My biggest takeaway from these were that no matter what the topic is, you can deepen your learning just by talking and asking questions with other people.


And finally, the main event. Our goal was to create, in a group of two, a video around the driving question of how an individual can change a system. In this theme, we had to have at least one link to Canada. I was paired with my man Robbie Wharton. And after knowing this, we got right down to work.

We started off our thinking with finding a our answer the the driving question. We first thought that in order for a person to be able to change a system, they must be influential. Then we thought about who some of the most influential people in society are. And we thought of celebrities, and musicians. We also connected this back to how music was growing during the Civil Rights Movement time period. Our next step was to find some musicians that battled racism in the 50’s and 60’s.

The three people we came up with after more-than-average amounts of research were Sammy Davis Jr, Sidney Poitier, and John Legend. These three men were our main evidence on proving our thesis. Me and Robbie filmed and edited our first draft, and then realized we didn’t have any Canadian connection in our video. We went back and researched more into this. The connections we ended up finding were through Sammy Davis Jr.  It turns out that Sammy Davis had hosted a TV show in Canada on CBC. This is actually more important than it sounds. That is because he, being a black man, wasn’t allowed to host any tv shows in America! This is just one of the many hardships that African Americans had to deal with in this time period.

After recieving critique from some grade 8s, we added in our Canadian connection and changed a few other bits. Then, we were done.

Right away, I wasn’t happy with our video. It was boring, repetitive and didn’t really get our point across. I found that me and Robbie just tried to take the easy way out with this video and do it really simply, without being smart or creative. We didn’t really have strong evidence or research and definitely didn’t execute it in the way I wanted to. It wasn’t a great end to a great unit, and I wish I had put in the time to make it great. Part of it was I got really sick right around the time we would have been making our second draft. Anyways.

This unit was overall really interesting. I’d always heard of MLK and the Civil Rights Movement but never really understood it. This unit really helped me understand what really happened in that time in america, and how our lives are affected by it today. I learned about the lunch counter sit-ins, the Montgomery bus boycott and much more. This all showed me how people can gather together to make a difference, and how one person can change a system. It is definitely up there for one of my favourite units of all time, even with a mediocre final product on my part.


Thats all,


See you

The Civil Rights Movement, Today

Welcome back to another post.

Recently in our Humanities class, we have been studying the events of the civil rights movement. We’ve looked at people like Emmet Till, Rosa Parks, and of course the famous Martin Luther King Jr. himself. Overall it has been a great unit so far, and to demonstrate our learning and our understanding of the historical perspective, I’m writing this post. It should be very interesting as I will be comparing contemporary events with that of the civil rights movement in America from the 1950’s to the 1960’s. If you already haven’t read about our recent PLP exhibition, go ahead and read it here, because it shows the learning we were doing right up until the civil rights movement. But let’s get started.

First, what was the Civil Rights Movement? I won’t get into too much detail, but if you wanted to know more, click below to find out the basic summary.

The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil War had officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against blacks—they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the South. By the mid-20th century, African Americans had had more than enough of prejudice and violence against them. They, along with many whites, mobilized and began an unprecedented fight for equality that spanned two decades.


For this post, I’ll be comparing the actions of two people and the events that took place because of those people. I’ll do this with the driving question of our unit in mind: “How can the actions of an individual change a system?” This post will try to solve this question, with evidence from today, and some from 60 years ago. And the two people I’ve chose to compare to solve the driving question are Martin Luther King Jr. and P.K. Subban.

I’ll start this off by talking about P.K. Subban. PernellKarl Sylvester Subban was born on May 13, 1989 in Toronto, Canada. He played hockey all throughout his childhood, and made it into the NHL in the 2nd round, 43rd overall in the 2007 Entry Draft. He was then recognized as the best defencemen in 2013 among other rewards. But how does an African American NHL player be considered similar to Martin Luther King? Well for one, P.K. is known for his colourful personality and his intensity on the ice. A lot of people think he is arrogant and self-absorbed but I think he’s just really outgoing and confident. So, he’s not afraid of the public opinion. In an interview with ESPN, he was asked about what he thought about the opinions of others, and he’s quoted as follows:

I try to get better every day and continue to do good things, not just for myself, but for the people around me, and just create good energy around me wherever I go, because that’s the only way to live, in my opinion.”

P.K. Subban is also known for his philanthropy. In September, 2015 he announced that he would raise $10 million for the Montreal Children’s hospital by 2022, which was the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian History. He was also awarded the Meritorious Service Cross in 2017 in recognition of his generous gift.

And now I’d like to explain the current events concerning P.K. that support my thesis for this post. To answer part of the units driving question, I’ve come up with the following thesis: “For an individual to change a system, they need to have the courage to step out and voice their opinions with the world to make a change.”

Recently, as in early January, P.K. Subban heard about something that upset him. A 13 year old boy from Detroit named Ty Cornett, was playing hockey and was experiencing a lot of racist taunts and harassment as he played through his season from opposing teams and even coaches and parents. This African American boy was very confused and his dad was quite saddened. The harassments were getting increasingly worse as Ty played through three years of hockey, but never wanted to quit. Even when the opposing teams would mock him, beat their chests and call Ty a monkey, Ty kept playing. This was a lot for a 13 year old kid who just wanted to play hockey. So, when he received this video, it meant the world to him.

PK Subban, who had heard because Ty’s father, Matthew, reached out to him, made this video before one of his games to encourage and support Ty. Coming from another black hockey player, this made Ty so much happier and confident. P.K. is now working with hockey organizations in the US to look over the problems and to try to end them.

Around this same time, P.K. heard of another story similar to Ty’s with another black 13 year old hockey player who was going through the same thing.


But how does this compare to Martin Luther King? Well, in this case, I see P.K. as someone who saw a problem, and knew it wasn’t right. He then decided to make a change, and voiced his opinion publicly. He sent the video to Ty via text, and his dad shared it with the world, and it went viral. P.K. was challenging a system, forcing people to think about their actions towards other people. This is similar to the actions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, and I’ll tell you why.

Martin Luther King, born on January 15, 1929 was the most visible spokesperson for the civil rights movement in the United States. He was an African American reverend who led the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, the nonviolent protests in Birmingham in 1963 and organized the 1963 March On Washington where he delivered his famous I Have A Dream speech. He also won a Nobel Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality with nonviolent resistance. He was then assassinated in Memphis on April 4th 1968 by a man named James Earl Ray.

How does this relate? Well, when he was appointed the official spokesperson of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, he became the face of the civil rights movement, and gave hope to thousands of black Americans. Martin Luther King saw that there was a definite problem, living in Montgomery, the epicentre for the struggle of civil rights. He stepped up and took on a role that put his life, his families life and many others in danger. But he did it because he wanted to make a change. He was just one guy who was in the right place at the right time in a way. He was living right in Montgomery, with lots of preaching experience, and already had the courage to voice an opinion to the masses. This man was challenging a system – the whole American society at the time. Because he was courageous, intelligent and driven, and because of this he made a change.

Just like P.K. Subban, in a way. P.K. Subban publicly announced that what was happening with Ty wasn’t ok, and even though the video was only sent to Ty, P.K. gave hope to hundreds of other people like Ty. Just like MLK. Martin’s actions made numerous legislation pass to end racial segregation, giving hope to people across all of America and the world.

So I guess you could say that in some ways, P.K. Subban, just a famous hockey player, is inspiring and changing a system like our friend Martin Luther King Jr, even if they live in different times.  Through courage, perserverence and the drive to do what’s right two different individuals made a change in a system. Where MLK changed the laws surrounding racial segregation, P.K. has raised awareness and recognition of a problem that still occurs today, and because of him a youth organization called “Players Against Hate” is now in effect. This organization is raising even more awareness for racism in youth hockey, and being recognized by NHL teams and Sports Illustrated.

Overall, these two men have had the courage to stand out and voice their opinions to the masses, and so I think that both of them have changed a system, or are starting to.


Thanks for reading.


See you.

The Mpol Strikes Back

Welcome back to another Mid Year Presentation by yours truly, Samuel Scheewe. Today’s topic will be about me, and my learning this year in the PLP 11 Cohort.

This year had been quite a difficult, but also very rewarding year for me as a student. I found the transition from grade 10 to grade 11 a huge jump in academics and homework amount. I’ve also found the work this year just really good quality work, and I’m very proud of it. Most of it anyways. So listen carefully, I’ll be telling you all about my life at school.

Typically in my Mpols in the past, I’ve described work I’m proud of, not proud of, and areas where I need improvement. But this time, I’m going to mainly focus on growth. I’ll talk about how much I’ve grown this year, and where I want to grow even more. Here we go folks.

My Growth As A PLP Learner

I think that in my PLP career the skill I’ve grown the most in is leadership. From being the quietest kid in the class to one of the top students, I feel that I’ve grown as an evident leader in my PLP Class. Even more so in the last year or so. This is something I’ve been working on for a long time, and I believe I said so in my MPol exactly one year ago. I wanted to become a better leader as a student, and I feel I’ve done so. I’m still a fairly quiet person, that’s just who I am, but my leadership skills shine through different aspects of my work and behaviour. To give you examples of this, I’ll talk about the two main projects we’ve done this year. First off, we’ve got the Manhattan Project Project.

The Manhattan Project Project

This was a really fun project for me. For the most part, I was engaged and interested to learn more. This unit was based around our field school down to Hanford, which was one of the best short field schools in my opinion. We went down there with the sole purpose to learn as much as we can in 4 days, and gather enough video to make a short 5 minute film about the Hanford site. And, as you may or may not know, I really like filmmaking and editing video, so this project was going to be great.

I feel I demonstrated my leadership when I took the lead on this project in my group, which consisted of myself, Parker, and Ethan. We had a lot of work to do, and we worked well together. I was one of the main directors, actors and the sole editor of the 5 minute video by the end of the project. Not to steal anyone’s thunder though, I totally didn’t mind taking more responsibility than I would have if I was in grade 8. Our finished product was finished before any other groups video in our class, and in my opinion, blew all the other ones out of the water. I was and still am extremely proud of this project, and the way I stepped up to take more responsibility. My leadership is evident in this project because I heard feedback from my classmates that they really liked our video, and asked me for tips on how to make theirs better.

And after the Manhattan project, we lead our studies right on through the 1950’s and multiple different forms of media to get to my all time favourite project in my PLP career. This project was the most recent PLP project, our Carousel Of Communism.

A Carousel Of Communism

In this particular project, I stepped outside my comfort zone and volunteered myself for one of the largest roles possible – the guide. I think I did this because I wanted a challenge, or I didn’t know how much talking I would have to do. Either way, it was something new to me because I’ve vowed to never be an actor. But even before the actual night of the exhibition, I found myself constantly brainstorming, and putting out ideas for the project with my classmates. I feel that even though I wasn’t a DRI, I was at least the equivalent of a prince in our chain of command in our class. I was constantly being surprised at just how well everyone worked together, and all the work we had done so far. I grew as a leader here because as a guide, I had to lead a group of random people through our exhibition, and also my classmates during our acts. I’m super happy that I took a role as a guide, even if it was a challenge because it made me a better version of myself and I would have regretted it if I hadn’t.

Growth For The Rest of the School Year

So the driving question for this Mpol is “How are you going to progress as a learner before the end of this school year?” And for me, I want to progress even more as a leader.

I will do this by forcing myself to do a lot of time blocking and time management. This comes from our new course this year called PGP, otherwise known as our personal growth plan. I’ll use the benefits of timeblocking to my advantage, benefits I still have to discover. Like a lot of PLP students, I was reluctant to use the techniques described at  our PGP meeting such as timeblocking and weekly reviews. I’m just beginning to wrap my head around how it all works and I think that if I put in the work to start it off, it will reward me long term.

I would like to use the strategies of PGP to help my work become quality that I’m proud of every time. I want to be a leader where my work sets a standard for our class, and it should be something I’m happy with, and be finished on time. I still need time to get my PGP weekly reviews up to date, and remember to constantly be adding to my calendar so I don’t forget important events.  Another mini project inside of PGP is my Dream Board. This is a collection of photos of places you want to go, things you want to have and who you want to be in the future. Below is mine.

This is meant to help us envision our future to help us strive to get there. This will be a constant reminder for me to stay dedicated and to put in the work so there can be a reward.

So, for the rest of this year I want to be able to use techniques given to me by my teachers, who want me to succeed, to my upmost benefits to create work that inspires the people around me, and makes me proud. That is how I will grow as a learner for the remainder of this year. It will take focus, determination and discipline, but I want this to work, and I’m willing to work for it.

So, thats the end of my MPol 2019.

Overall I’m really enjoying myself in PLP this year, especially the projects we’ve done so far. Our next project has to do with video creation, something I’m skilled in, and so I’m looking forward to seeing how will use my timeblocking and leadership to influence the final product.

And that’s all for this MPol, I hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you again at the end of the year.


See You


A Carousel Of Communism

Welcome back everyone, today is my first post of 2019, a brand new year for a brand new post.

But what I’ll be telling you happened on December 20th, 2018. It was our PLP Winter Exhibiton. And was it ever something.

It started way back when we began this unit watching one episode of an old TV show you may know of, called “Leave it to Beaver”. It was an American sitcom show, and it idealized the perfect suburban family of the 1950s in America. After watching this video we realized in a small sense how life as an American after WW2 really was.

We had also read through the entire play called “The Crucible” as you may know from my last posts, and this will tie into our main project as well. This would be another form of historical perspective we would use in our end product.

Project Brief

Our class would be working as one big team to create an interactive and immersive experience for an audience. The audience would be anyone who came to our Exhibiton, and the location was our schools gym. We would design and write a script that had an acting role for everyone in the class, and it would tell a story about life in America during the 1950’s. There would be about 6 different stations/scenes that would continue the story from the last scene until there is full 40 minute experience. We would plan and execute the entire project on our own as a class, without help from our teachers.

So, we got right to it.

First we started brainstorming as a class, with our teachers there to point us in the right direction, and we wrote down multiple ideas we had for the actual story of the Exhibiton. After that class, we would come back and put our ideas into action. Unfortunately, I was away for the two classes where our class chose an idea, planned out the 6 scenes, listed all the acting roles, and drew out a basic floor plan for the gym. When I came back, I was extremely surprised to see how much they had done, and I realized just how motivated our class. I thought that I needed to get up to speed real quick.

The next stage was to write out a script and get it approved by our teachers so we could move ahead with memorizing our lines, and building our props and sets. So, we split the class into the 6 scenes and wrote out a script for each scene. Once we were all done, we compiled them all together, and our main script writers looked it over. We then presented it to our teachers, who overall really liked it but made a few changes for us. We then moved ahead.

The next thing we did was decide who got which part for the “Carousel Of Communism”, which we did by asking if anyone wanted specific parts. Another big part of the story is that we would have 4 “guides” who would take groups of 15 audience members from station to station, and also play a character throughout the story. These people would need to be able to think on their feet, and be prepared to have lots of lines. And I did something I didn’t feel super comfortable doing, I signed up for a guide. I did it because I knew it would be a challenge and I knew I would be proud if I did do it well. So that was my role, and the other three guides were Adam, Claire and Sofia. And rather uneventfully, everyone else got assigned a role and we moved onto building all our props and designing detailed floor plans.

We worked hard for the remainder of our time, about a week and a half, to design and build each and every set and prop. I was really proud of our class as everyone communicated really well and was always on task. Overall it was a lot of fun to work with people who were motivated and good at what they were doing. I really enjoyed this stage of the project, as it was fun, and I realized the full potential of  our class.

Then, the time came. It was the day of the Exhibiton, and every grade of PLP was working furiously to get the final details ready for the Exhibiton. Then it was time for us to bring all our stuff into the gym, and so we did. There was one thing we couldn’t build, and it was something everyone was relying on. It was the gigantic mechanical wall that comes across the gym in the center, and we were planning on using it for separating our scenes. But, of course, it would not move no matter how many times we tried. So we had to improvise, and we hung some super heavy choir curtains from some rope Alex brought, and it looked… great.

Other than that setback, the entire gym looked amazing. Everyone was in their costumes, the sets looked exactly how we wanted them to look, and everyone had some nervous excitement.

During the exhibition, we worked as a team to read cues from each other when we needed to improvise, and act off our script in our character to strengthen our story, and I thought we did this really well. It made me happy to see improvisation by any of my classmates because it showed that we were comfortable in our roles, and having fun as well. As a guide I was doing a lot of this, and more specifically, one time I totally forgot what I was supposed to say in our Hollywood scene, and since I was supposed to be acting in a movie, I stalled, and told the cameraman, Parker, that we should cut here because I forgot my line. To the audience, it looked like it was part of the script, but in reality I legitimately forgot my line and had to think on the spot.

Overall, this was my favourite project in my entire PLP career. From working together as an entire class, to learning the actual material, I found it both interesting, entertaining, and extremely rewarding. After the whole night was over and I had slept for 12 hours straight, I felt really proud of the work we had done, and feel I learned a lot about the 1950’s and the ties it has to today. This is because we also tied the Crucible to the 1950’s, and to today with Donald Trump. We related the “witch hunt” aspect from an actual witch hunt in the Crucible, to the McCarthy trials, and to Donald Trump crying witch hunt all the time about political issues today. All this was shown in our 20 minute interactive experience. Here it is below for you to watch:

I think I speak for my whole class when I say I’m really proud of what we accomplished and I went home satisfied with what we did as a PLP team.

Thats all for now.


See you

The End of a Great Trilogy


You may or may not know from my other posts, #1 and #2, that our class has been reading the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. It’s a pretty interesting play that relates a lot to today’s society. In this play, the characters deal a lot with the concept of the devil, and God and Heaven. They have strict rules of what is Godly and what is the work of the devil, and you must avoid the devil at all costs. And so, for this post, I will be talking about my concept of heaven.

Now we’ve all seen the cheesy edited photos that are designed to look like the gates or entrance of Heaven, and these are supposed to give us an idea of what Heaven looks like. Everyone has a different picture of what Heaven is in their head, and I believe that is correct.

I have grown up always being a Christian, and so I have a different belief about the afterlife. I believe that when you die, if you believe in God, and want to be with Him, to put it simply, that you will go to Heaven. And if you don’t, then you will go to hell, the complete opposite, where the Devil rules. I believe that God wants everyone to come to Heaven because he cares for and created everyone specifically in His own image, and doesn’t want to force us to believe in Him. So, Heaven will be a place where you can be with God, and also people you loved or miss, and it will be different for everyone as everyone has a different perception of Heaven. Heaven is completely and purely happiness and joy for eternity, which I find is extremely hard for our minds to think about.

I also don’t think Heaven is a physical place, it is a spiritual location that we cannot see here on earth. I believe we all have a spirit inside of us, which is what makes every single person on earth different and unique in their own ways. Then when they die, their body stays on earth and their spirit goes to heaven, or hell.

To help you visualize this complicated topic I’ve made my own cheesy photo of what I think Heaven will look like, and how I got there:

The first photo is my tragic and peaceful death mountain biking at age 89. I crash doing the sickest trail ever, I die immediately upon impact. The next photo represents what I see when I get to Heaven, with God and my family and friends waiting for me.

I enjoyed writing this post as it got me thinking again about what I think will happen. People in the Crucible definitely had strong views on Heaven and Hell, and this caused them a lot of moral suffering as people sorted through their actions and if they’re considered “Right” or “Wrong” and which afterlife they will end up in.

Overall, it’s an interesting topic for sure.


Thats all,


See you

Creative Crucible #2

Welcome back,


Today will be a continuation of our creative Crucible blog posts we are doing in PLP Humanities right now. Currently in class, we are reading a play called the Crucible, a dark, creepy play written about the Salem Witch Trials in 1690. We had a list of tasks to complete, and so in this post I’ll be doing my second one. You can read my first post below.

How to Spot a Witch

For this post, to answer a question, I thought I’d make a map slideshow. About my entire childhood. And then… post it on the Internet…


Here is my final product:

This is for the question on our task sheet that asks us to describe a time we felt isolated.

the process or fact of isolating or being isolated. "the isolation of older people"

I decided to make this map because I thought it would help show my life so far, since it has been in multiple locations with lots of different memories. And as for the isolation part, it is explained in the map slideshow. I have definitely felt isolated, like when I moved to Vancouver. This is all explained on the map, so make sure to check it out.

This all relates back to the Crucible because in the play, a man named John Proctor was isolated in his house for 7 months due to bad weather and I also think some personal choice. It is a little crazy to think about being in one house for seven months in today’s time, and so this relates back to the feeling of isolation John Proctor must’ve felt.

I actually really enjoyed this project, as I hadn’t used the map maker site before, and it’s a very powerful tool I plan to use again.


Well, that’s all for this post.


see you