GET OUT, A Movie’s influence on society

Have you ever watched a modern horror movie? Nowadays with our society is continually being desensitized within the genre of horror, meaning the industry needs to continually come out with new and unique ideas to keep the viewers engaged. Get Out is a great example of a modern horror that tackles an unfamiliar perspective on horror. The film uses an array of storytelling techniques while tackling racism issues in our society today.

Talk about societal issues brought up in the movie.

talk about the feeling of isolation, false sense of trust, horrifying, mental complexity piece to it.

Storytelling through a situation a lot of people can connect with, meeting the parents

Podcast references Trevon Martin: connection to today’s issues

having the audience see what it’s like

“The fear that a black man has in a white suburb is real” Jordan Peele

“Anyone can relate to the fear of meeting your future inlaws for the first time” adding race into the mix adds a whole other factor…

The parents seem like they don’t care about the colour of the boyfriend’s skin which is almost weirder for the character as he is expecting them to not be that welcoming in today’s society.

All the white people want to have some sort of connects to him at the family reunion. form of true cliches “hey can I touch your hair”

“About the African American experience, it’s about the feelings about being an outsider, the feeling about being the other”

“big problems when talking about race is the us vs them, their racist I’m not”

“We all have issues to deal with in regards to race internally, its part of being a human being”

 

urge to prejudge

human trait

it’s how we as individuals chose to deak with our internal racism is our only way out

“The horror movies that stick with us are the ones that offer a unique twist on the character’s perspectives of the horror”

Different perspectives

Unfamiliar perspective on horror

Inspiration from guess who is coming for dinner 

Situation that is universal 

Beginning with a story that everyone can have some relation to and have empathy, then going into specifics which makes the story interesting 

Uses the specifics of the protagonist to unlock new story telling techniques 

Unique method of building tension 

dangerous place is which white people

Racially clumsy 

Tension continuous build throughout the weekend at the parents house

Real life racial tensions are used to help build the suspense of the story

Uneasiness is complex

Interactions with other black people are unsettling 

The method of building tension has never been used in a horror film previous to this movie.

unique way of establishing trust 

Awareness takes away a little bit of the uncomfortableness 

Blind man is an “apparent ally to Chris” seems to address and understand that people are focusing of colour, these people are ignorant.

Trust is misplaced during auctions scene

Rose is bringing Chris into harm’s way, but as viewers, we want to trust her because for the majority of the film she doesn’t seem to be in on what the family is doing. She is also empathizing with Chris’ experience. Rose is aware of how her family is treating Chris, a sense of trust when she seems to convey that her father never treats her boyfriends the way he treated Chris.

“Continued weakness” Jordan Peele

She is more annoyed about the situation than he is which makes it so she wins his trust and the viewers’ trust as well.

A feeling that they shouldn’t make the one last ”good white person” in this scenario evil, but they did.

Everything seems lost in the final scene of the film 

Feeling of isolation 

No one around to save him or help

A friend back home is right all along about the white family

This area is not used to seeing black people so if something were to go wrong that it probably would go in favour of Chris

Moments when we don’t want the police to arrive, which happens at the end but it ends up being his friend, Rob.

Implications of the situation, police brutality in present-day towards black people 

Brings a new perspective to a genre

Struggles can emphasize with everyone,

  1. What is the horror of the film? In other words, what is the actual fear created for the viewer and what creates that fear? Why is that so terrifying?
  2. What is the motivation for the killings? Is there more behind them than the film directly explains? How and why?
  3. What style is used for the filmmaking and the storytelling? What techniques are used? What is the effect?
  4. Do some quick research about the historical context of the film. How does the historical context help with understanding of the film? For example, if the film was created in the ‘60s are there events in the film that uniquely reflect some of the events of that time or issues of concern of the time? If yes, then how?
  5. Find at least one article about the film online. Use the article to support your own opinions, or use it to present an alternative perspective. How did the article help with your interpretation of the film? NOTE: This should NOT be based on a film review, but rather an interpretative article.
  6. Compare the film to Frankenstein. What aspects can you see that are similar? What are some differences? Focus on the concept of horror.

The Horror Within Halloween (1978)

When it comes to horror movies I’m definitely not someone you’d called a “Horror Movie Fanatic.” I’ve watched maybe a total of 5 horror movies and each time there quite a few times I’m covering my eyes. But what makes these movies so terrifying and is the reaction I’m giving off the reaction that horror movies are trying to get? Through this post, we are going to be exploring the horror film Halloween 1978 to gain a better understanding of horror. 

Halloween was a pivotal point in the horror film industry, many say the true beginning of industry. However, before Halloween, there were many more historical pieces that made the genre grow. For example, Frankenstein, a book written in 1817. Although Frankenstein was written so long ago it shares many resemblances to Halloween. For instance, in the novel, the being created is only referred to as the creature or the monster. In the movie many of the times Michael is just referred to as he or it. This strategy used in horror makes the villain an outsider to our society which adds in a feeling of the unfamiliar. Both the movie and the novel deal with a similar fight to the question of what is humanity. In Frankenstein it’s the constant fight for the monster to feel belonging, Mary Shelly makes the creature have human-like characteristics which throughout the book challenges the idea of what it means to be human. In Halloween, the topic of humanity is also tackled through Michael’s lack of childhood. After killing his sister he is admitted to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, where he is locked up until he escapes years later.

The films also differ in a variety of ways, one of which is the pace of the story. During the time that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein the idea of bringing the dead back to life through electricity was thought to be a plausible idea. To make the book a horror story the story messed with your morals, in the way that the reader begins to feel bad for the creature who is not being accepted into society even though he is killing people. It’s weird how empathy builds towards the side of the story that is not the good side. Our braIns have been numbed to horror through being able to see horrific real-life horrific photos of what’s happening during wars or in other countries. This lead to the continual increase in how terrifying horror movies are today. If a novel following the same exact story of the Frankenstein book were to come out today instead of 2 hundred years ago the book would not be considered horror because of where our society is today.

So what makes horror horrifying? And in specific, what makes Halloween a horror film? Well throughout the film the “Elements of Aversion” come into play. The feeling as a viewer that you have a lack of power is defiantly one aspect the production team was trying to go for. During the movie, our lens on what is happening is greater than those of the actors. We are able to see Micheal lurking around, stalking the characters in the movie. This makes the audience uncomfortable watching as there is always a feeling of no control. Specifically, when Michael begins to target people there is a sense of helplessness as the audience can grasp what might happen before the characters in the film would realize it. 

Another element that creates fear is the unstoppability of the antagonist, Michael. As soon as he chose victims and stuck with them throughout the movie. Any sense of control the viewers might feel towards the movie is taken away very quickly. One of the shots used in the filming was a first-person point of view shot. This was a crucial part of setting the tone of the film, starting off with a swaying camera as if it’s someone walking. Then using the most effective perspective, in my opinion, the camera angle through the mask which adds a completely different perspective into the film.

During the film, many of the shot angles were from the back of Michael’s head while the people he was stocking in the shot unknowingly continued with their life. These camera angles were an aspect of the filming that really stood out while watching Halloween for the first time. The camera angles were also a huge part of making the movie so effective to the viewers. Another thing that caught my attention was how the production team of the film through sound effects, lighting and filming angles was able to make a quaint little town into a location with a creepy feeling.  

The film starts with a scene in which a boy named Micheal kills his sister in his own home on Halloween night. This begins the entire set up of the film with a sense of vulnerability as we don’t know the reason behind the killings. The remainder of the film stays murky towards why Michael Myers chooses his victims as we never get a glimpse into the mind of the antagonist. Specifically, the few times we see the movie from Michael’s perspective we never really get to see his facial expressions which makes it even harder to read his character and mental state. However when looking at the connections between the first murder and the following ones in the film. The girls murdered were all similar ages and from his home town of Haddonfield. This shows something about the emotional connection that Michael might have to the town he grew up in. 

We don’t know why he targeted young females however during the time period. However this action within the movie has a direct reflection on society during the 1970s. The 1970s were a time of change, standing up for whats write and what we believe in. One of the biggest movements during the time was the Women’s Rights Movement. Early on int he movie we can see the influence that this time period had on the movie. Specifically but very subtlely during the classroom scene, we see Laurie’s education-driven mind. However, we also see many stereotypes present to women at the time like the girl who talked about cheerleading and so forth. on top of portraying idealized characters during the time period, the killings within the movies also had a reflection on reality vs society expectations. In The New York Times Final Reviews of a horror classic, it states that the movie is “a moralistic streak”. The girls who have sex were killed and the ones who were virgins survived.

Laurie, the main character is a key part of the development of the story. In my opinion, the way the director decided to portray this character sets the story up throughout the rising action. We see Laurie as a girl who is well-spoken yet exhibits a sense of innocence. Throughout the film Laurie has an awareness of Michael, seeing glimpses of him for split second. After Michael murders both of her friends Laurie remains the sole survivor of the group. Laurie’s character is known as a symbol of the feminist movement. The movie was the first huge role for Jamie Lee Curtis, the actress who played Laurie.  The video below explains more about Jamie and her experiences with the movie.

When watching this movie as a student looking for answers towards the historical content and connections of the film It puts an entirely new perspective on movie-watching specifically within the horror genre. Before becoming educated on what makes horror terrifying, watching a horror movie didn’t really seem like a good idea to me. However, now that I have a better understanding of horror I have a greater appreciation for its impact and reflection on society.

Work Cited

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/509838/20-things-look-while-watching-john-carpenter’s-halloween

https://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/halloween/277049/halloween-jamie-lee-curtis-on-the-trauma-of-laurie-strode

The Taming of The Shrew, 1920s Style

This is my first official school post from my final year of grade 12; with us just passing the one month mark, its time to write about our first unit of the school year. This unit based our studies around two main ideas. Looking at gender roles throughout history and what makes something (literature, moveis etc) a classic. Incorporating both of these topics, we completed a final project in small groups to show our understanding of gender roles during a specific period using the Shakespearean play The Taming of The Shrew. Watch the short animation below to see whether you understand our representation of The Taming of The Shrew set during the 1920s.

After watching the animation, I hope you understand the message of gender roles during the 1920s. If not, don’t worry throughout the remainder of this blog post, I’ll explain the learning I did alongside my group to obtain an understanding of both classics and gender roles. 

,https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjTmcGr_4vlAhVQIjQIHZlJCQIQjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sutori.com%2Fstory%2F1920-s-gender-roles–PRb3DxXk1FC1WWoTPbVgqHHy&psig=AOvVaw21aTaDs0iCeYuqFy9KR2m3&ust=1570601141256193

We actually sta;rted thi,s unit in the summer by choosing and reading a classic novel. Instead of just reading o,ne I decided to read two of the books were assign to complete a reading goal I set out for myself at my end of the year grade 11 PGP meeting. This was beneficial as it allowed for me to choose from the two books for which one I wanted to write a short review on. The two classics I read included The Wars and The English Patien,t, both of which were excellent, somewhat challenging reads. Sometimes with assigned school bo,o,k,s I don’t enjoy reading them, however I really enjoyed the books and during my family’s vacation in Winnipeg any free time I had I would read the books. Plus the more reading I do the more it will improve my reading and writing. Following reading both books, I decided to write my review on The English Patient as I really enjoyed the format in which it was written and the artistic, descriptive language used throughout the entirety on the story. 

Here is my review:

After reading the short story by Michael Ondaatje the previous school year I knew that I wanted to read another piece in his style of writing. When we were given the option for our summer reading assignment to read The English patient, which is one of Ondaatje’s most famous books, I immediately decided this was going to be the book I read. At the beginning it took me a couple chapters to really get into the story however once I began to be immersed in this sensational story I didn’t want to put the book down. The one complaint I have is the jumping between the present and the past timelines as at times the story felt a little disjointed and confusing. Nonetheless I love this book for the story being told and the wording in which it was told. The format of writing used by Ondaatje truly encompassed that of a poet. The descriptions and similes used throughout the novel really helped to paint a picture in my mind, from “a scurry in her mind like a mouse in the ceiling” Chapter 1, to “the sapper’s arm sweep out and the canvas walls collapse on themselves like a sail” Chapter 10. You can see the use of poetic devices throwout the entire book. The story follows four characters undertaking their own journeys during World War Two and how their lives intertwine at a villa in Italy, A nurse named Hana, a bomb defuser named Kip, a thief named Caravaggio and of course ‘the English Patient’. The story toys with your emotions and leaves the readers grasping for an answer to who the mysterious burned English Patient is. During the entire novel as new elements of the story were told, slowly but surely his character is revealed showing that he isn’t exactly who the others at the villa thought he was at the start. This is definitely a book I would recommend to others to read although at time a little confusing was one of my favourite reads!

Following writing this review we then wrote an opinion paragraph about whether the book we read was a classic or not. For my paragraph I said that The English Patient was a classic because of the longevity of Ondaatje style of writing. The idea behind the message of my paragraph was a very strong point however to improve the way it was presented in the paragraph I could have focused my writing a little bit more to make this powerful statement that exemplifies my point. 

The English Patient is a captivating story with a lot of depth and emotion, truly putting the classic into the meaning of a modern classic novel. The style of writing uses imagery, metaphors and similes to capture the essence of of the 4 main character’s as their lives intertwine throughout the story. During the book this imagery is used to help the reader gain a breath of the depth of the story and a more profound understanding of what is being said. During chapter 2 a scene takes place where Caravaggio sustains injuries when his both his thumb are cut off. Following the description of this violent event in the book, a short sentence is said “Like a wish in a dream”. Upon first glance a reader might not notice the depth of this sentence or apply a deeper meaning, especially following a part in the story with such a horrific act. However when thinking about the style that Ondaatje reflects in his descriptions within his writing, these truly encompass a story with quality and allows readers to better understand a story through an alternative lens. This is truly a classic that can be analyzed through the story and descriptions using parts like this quote to grasp at why and how this has an impact to the story. Being able to apply these analysis skills and really try and gain a deeper understand thorough the writing is one of the aspects I think makes this book a classic. The English Patient has and will pass the test of time, I feel as though I could read this book again in 5 years and gain a great appreciation and deeper understanding for the book. Another quality that supports the fact The English Patient is a modern classic would be its universal recognition and appreciation. Receiving various universally recognizable awards including the Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-language fiction and the Golden Man Booker shows that the book is well respected and enjoyed.

The next aspect of classics we looked at as a class was Shakespeare in specific his comedy, The Taming of The Shrew. As Shakespeare plays were meant to be performed instead of read, as a class we went to the live performance of The Taming of The Shrew, performed at Bard on The Beach. With the play set during the Wild West, it was really interesting to see how the director decided to take the play as more of a love story instead of a “taming” story. Watching the story live definitely helped me understand the story and helped bring a somewhat overwhelming and confusing play into perspective. 

After grasping an understanding of the play, we were split off into groups and tasked will creating a short animation of one act of the taming of the shrew during a certain time period. My group, which included Alex, Ryan, Chiara and Myse,lf, were tasked with act two of The Taming of The Shrew during the 1920s. 

Before staring the animation, we needed to gain a deeper understanding for gender roles during the 1920s. To do, so, we created a multimedia to show women roles during our time period. I decided to use Keynote to create a short animation and a recording to go alongside the animation. With my first draft, I didn’t include links to the photos I used so for this blog post, I went back and added the links as well as decided to add some music to the video to aid in emphasizing the points I was trying to get across.

Once each of us individually created multimedias to show our understanding of the time period. We then went on the begin planning our animation by cutting down the sc,ript, creating chara,cters and finally creating a storyboard. Alex and Ryan edited the script, Chiara designed all the characters and I created the storyboard. Throughout the entirety of this proje,ct, our groups worked very well together delegating and evenly splitting up tasks, as well as working alongside one another when we had time to work on the project together. 

During the creation of this animation, we took a look back on classics. By writing an essay about whether The Taming of The Shrew was a classic or not. This was a hard question to answer, as I had good points on both sides of the argument. I ended up arguing that Taming of The Shrew is a classic mainly since it is still recognized and performed today. Below I’ve included a copy of my essay.

 

Following writing this essay, we then focused on creating our animation using our previous work from the storyboard and script editing. One we got started, we realized that creating a short animation was a lot more complicated than we thought, especially our original idea of using adobe animate (which is a pretty time-consuming program to use). Our first draft was very basic, with mostly just a recorded script and a little bit of animation.

What we learned from this draft was that our animation needed to be a whole heck of a lot shorter and have more animation to make it more interesting. After working together and many hours of revision and work, we created our final draft, which I would say is still a work in progress and something where we can learn from our mistakes. Originally our animation was supposed to have the characters’ mouths animated while our audio was going; however, after several tries using different mouth positions for each sound, it, unfortunately, didn’t end up working. This was definitely a learning experience and something where we can’t get frustrated with ourselves if it’s not always going to turn out the way we want it to. Although the final draft was due, I think our group will continue to revise our animation to reach fro a higher grade on the proficiency scale.

Throughout this unit, I’ve really tried to put in everything to go up and beyond; however, as a good number of the assignments were solely writing, I found it very difficult to meet the standards that are set in place. Writing has always been difficult for me, even when I put hours upon hours of research, planning and writing in the final result is never where I want it to be. However, instead of letting this bring me down, I will continually practice my writing through writing more blog posts and reading regularly. To compare my progress and improvement during the year, I will compare myself on the proficiency scale and ask for feedback on all future assignments. My goal for the end of the year is to obtain, then maintain an exceeding on the proficiency scale to show a deeper understanding of the curricular competencies.

Starting The School Year Off Right!

I’m going into my 2nd month of grade 12 which is absolutely crazy to me, time has felt like it has gone by so fast. According to one of my teachers every 4 weeks is equal to 10% of the course meaning I’ve already completed over 10% of grade 12. I still remember my first day of  grade 8, the start of high school, so clearly. I met up with a couple friends, we all got ready together and then we walked to school, eager to start a new chapter in our lives. Now, in almost exactly a year from now, I’ll be heading off to a new beginning, University!! As time is flying by so fast I definitely want to make every little bit count! To do so I thought before my hectic schedule starts I would apply some skills we learned in PGP this past year, AKA time blocking!!!

Looking back on grade 11, I could have applied the skills I learned from PGP much better into my day to day life, especially with an insanely busy schedule and a full course load. Instead of procrastinating like this previous year, I have decided to kick myself into gear! To do so, the first thing I did was look back on my tPOL from the end of grade 11. One of the major aspects I focused on was developing my learning over the summer. This meant reading a couple of books and writing at least two summer blog posts. Both of which will help to improve my writing skills and aid in preparing me for PLP 12.

For my summer blog posts, I decided to write about my amazingly busy July basketball experience and my summer holiday at my family’s cottage in Manitoba.

Regarding the books I’ve read this summer, as we had an assignment over the summer to read one book from a list of books given by our teacher. These books included:

Alias Grace

Catch 22

The English Patient

The Great Gatsby

Green Grass Running Water

Pride and Prejudice 

A Prayer for Owen Meany 

Room with a View

Stanley Park

The Wars

I decided to read two of the books to meet the ready goal I set forth for myself and also gain a deeper appreciation for literature. The firsts book I read was The Wars, this book was about the life of a soldier named Robert Ross through the First World War. This story was told from a very interesting perspective as it showed a different part of his life before war as well as some of the emotional effects that the horrific acts of war have on soldiers. The second book I decided to read was the English Patient, this one interested me as I had heard highly of it from other people. Last year we read a short story written by the same author as The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje and I was very interested to read more in his style of writing. I really enjoyed reading this book and became entranced in the story!!

Reading these books  is going to definitely motivate me to continue to read during the school year. The new goal I’ve set for myself is to read every night before bed, even if it’s just for 5 minutes, anything is better than nothing. This will benefit me by helping expand both my vocabulary and writing skills, hopefully making writing, which is something I find quite challenging, a little bit easier. Also, this is an achievable goal that I can continue with throughout my life.

The last thing I did to prepare myself for my senior year of high school was start to time block my September calendar. Although I don’t know my complete schedule yet I found it very helpful to lay out my workout and basketball schedule for the month.

Throughout the rest of the year, I will continue to add events, homework, practices etc to the calendar to continually help me to organize my life. I will also be time blocking specific times to do my homework as this year’s main focus academically is to boost my grade average and gain a deeper understanding for the subjects I’m learning. To do so I will really need to be mentally focused and prevent myself from procrastinating. A huge part that I will need to include in order to truly implement my time blocking routine is to have a weekly review period to look at all the different areas and see what might need more time, less time or can stay the same. As I really want to strive for my highest potential and truly succeed academically in all my courses I will need to use the skills I’ve learned from the previous school years to improve my management skills, set achievable goals for myself and show both academic excellence and personalization in ALL MY WORK.

Life at the Cottage

This past summer in August, my family went to Manitoba for 2 weeks to visit our cousins, Aunts and Uncles and to go to our family cottage on Brereton Lake. This is a yearly family tradition to go for 1 to 2 weeks and just spend time by the lakeside. I was especially excited for this year’s trip as during the second week one of my friends and one of my brother’s friends came to spend a week with us!

The first few days of our trip we spent in Winnipeg visiting my dad’s side of the family. During this time, we just relaxed and spent time together. One of the things I was really excited to do was to watch my cousin Ali try on wedding dresses. She specifically made an appointment while we were there at a bridal boutique so we could go through the experience and see her try on all the beautiful dresses. As we don’t see our cousins that often with living so far away, I was so glad I got to be there with her when she was trying on all the dresses. She looked absolutely gorgeous in every single dress!!

After spending a couple days in the city, we went down to Brereton Late which is about an hour and a half drive from the city. Driving in the prairies has such a different feel compared to back home, the roads are straight and you can see mile upon miles of land instead of the mountains back home. Although the prairies are beautiful, it really makes me have a deeper appreciation for where I live.

Immediately after getting to the cottage, we went swimming in the beautiful calm water.  Following this swim, we probably went in the water at least two times per day! It’s so nice to go on a vacation where we could just relax, go swimming, take a break then go swimming some more. On top of swimming, we also had a lot of campfires to roast marshmallows and hot dogs, we even made these campfire desserts called banana boats which are bananas filled with chocolate and marshmallow melted from the fire.

sunset

Roasting Marshmallows

Our friends from Vancouver came down a couple days after we arrived. We had an absolute blast with them, sharing the experiences and joy of the cottage. We did all our typical cottage activities with them including tubing, water skiing, biking, and of course going to the jumping rock. The jumping rock is an island in Brereton Lake which has a couple of rock ledges that you can go cliff jumping off of. We went there numerous times throughout the week, jumping off the highest rock ledge which definitely looked a lot higher when standing on top looking down. At first I was pretty scared to jump as one of my biggest fears in heights however my friend Imogen who was with us wanted to jump off the tall one so I decided to as well. We had a blast going to the jumping rock, taking pictures and videos with our Go Pro to commemorate our jumps in action.

jumping rock

Hiking

Boating

Boating

One of our many annual traditions is to get the massive delicious ice cream at the convenience store near our cottage. They always have the most delicious flavours and have seriously massive portions. The kiddie size alone is 4 huge scoops of ice cream, almost as big as our heads (I’m not kidding). During our time there, we went a couple times to get the ice cream, I got flavours like birthday cake, strawberry and chocolate peanut butter!!

Another activity we do every year is a scavenger hunt my Auntie Lesa puts on for us. This year because we had our friends there, it made it more fun and a heck of a lot more competitive! We formed two teams, boys vs girls and competed to see who could get the scavenger hunt done in the least amount of time. Imogen and I ended up beating my brothers and their friend by one second.  So of course, that gave us bragging rights for the rest of the trip.

As we don’t go online a lot during the time we spend at the cottage, our evenings are filled with card games and boards games. When there are 8 people playing, it makes the games very competitive. One of our go to games is called Ups and Down, its pretty hard to explain but lets just say it’s a great one to play with loads of people and it never gets boring!! On top of playing Ups and Downs, we also played some board games including Spyfall and Code Names. Both of these games can get really intense when playing.

I really enjoyed taking a break from constantly being on electronics, it was really nice to primary jut use my phone for a camera and just enjoy being in the moment. One of the most amazing times of day was to go out on the boat and watch the beautiful sunsets over the lake. Every night the entire sky filled with magnificent shades of pink, red and orange as the sun set over the horizon of trees.

After spending almost 2 weeks in Manitoba, with 1 week with our friends there, it was time to go home. This was such a great two weeks of summer and definitely one of my favourite parts especially due to the fact that my friend was able to come as well!

21 Basketball Games in 12 Days!!

This past club basketball season, I had the amazing opportunity to play with BC United in the Girls UAA league (UAA is the Under Armour Association). Our team was one of two Canadian teams in this league competing against some of the toughest 16U/17U teams in North America. Within the Girls UAA league, there were three main tournaments, one in Pennsylvania which took place in April, the next took place in Indiana in July, and the finals were in Atlanta, Georgia. These were the main events that took place, however alongside these tournaments, we also went to various other tournaments in Canada and the United States.

During the month of July, I was gone for a total of 16 days on these trips with the first one lasting 9 days followed by a 4 day break with practices  then another 7 day trip. This was a super busy yet exciting month for me, having the experience to play against girls who were stronger, bigger, taller and more skilled. The grit and determination that these American girls had while playing was on an entirely different level to Canadian competition. It made me compete at a much higher intensity and really showed me what it was going to take to play at the next level aka university.

Before the beginning of the first July tournament, I felt excited yet nervous for these tournaments.  I just tried my best to not focus on the nervousness but more so on how excited I was to get to travel to the other side of North America for a sport that I loved to play and compete against the best. We began our trip by flying into Chicago then driving 5 hours to Louisville, Kentucky where we would compete at the Run 4 Roses tournament. This was a pretty long travel day as we left early in the morning from Vancouver and didn’t arrive into Louisville until 1 in the morning. The following day, we had an hour and a half practice at the facility to get a feel for the courts. This was really helpful as we got to get some reps up and go over our team plays. Throughout this tournament, our team definitely had our ups and downs. Some games went really well and we were working together as a team but other days we just didn’t have that connection and we weren’t making the number of baskets we needed. The one thing that was consistent throughout all of our tournaments was our team’s defence and our overall effort. We always help teams to lower scores and used our quickness and agility to shut the opposing team down. After competing at this tournament, we then headed to Westfield, Indiana to play at the second Girls UAA tournament. As there were only 32 of the top teams competing within this league, the competition was fierce and the facilities were amazing. This tournament was held at the Indiana Pacers training facility which was unbelievably nice.

As all of these tournaments were huge events, you can probably imagine the number of recruiting scouts watching all of the games. Prior to these events, I had never experienced having university coaches assess and watch our games. During one of our games alone, there were 30 scouts watching.  At first, it was a little nerve wracking to have all these coaches watching however I realized that I shouldn’t let this make me nervous but instead I just needed to play my own game and show my effort and perseverance.

Here are some of the photos from the trip:

For the second July trip, we headed off to Atlanta, Georgia for 7 days. All of these trips we took to the east coast were a really great experience as I’d never been to anywhere in the States other than Washington, Oregon, California and Florida. The two tournaments we had in Atlanta were the Peach Splash tournament and the UAA finals.

During our first tournament, The Peach Splash we stayed in a hotel right in downtown Atlanta. This hotel was massive, with over 45 floors, 12 elevators and a huge lobby.

The tournament itself was held in a huge facility with over 50 courts and over 200 colleges at the tournament watching the games. At our first game alone there were over 30 scouts watching our game. This was a really cool experience and right off the bat I came out strong and hit a 3 pointer and made a layup. This entire tournament was a decent one for our team but we still could have done better. I think the big difference between Canadian and American teams is the grit, effort and strength. These attributes are the big things that us Canadian players need to work on. For me specifically, I have grit and effort, I just need to continue to build my strength and be able to finish a basket with contact.

Our next tournament was the UAA Finals which took place in a convention centre close to the airport. By far, out of all the tournaments, this was my favourite facility because of one factor, THE PLAYER LOUNGE!! This tournament was such an amazing experience especially being able to play against and watch some of the top players in the 17U division. Plus of course having the player lounge was super cool!! There was an Xbox, recovery pneumatic unit pumps for your legs, snacks, headbands, a basketball arcade game and a physio for the players.

The games we played at the UAA finals were a lot tougher than the ones at the previous tournaments. We were playing against some fo the best teams in North America and it was definitely a great learning experience. In my opinion, the best way to get better is to practice but then also putting yourself in the position of playing against better players who will make you step up to their level of play. During this tournament, I played against girls who were quicker, stronger, and/or taller which helped me compete and develop my own skills.

 

While going on these trips, we also did a lot of stuff outside of basketball including shopping at some outlet malls,  going around the cities, and visiting some museums. Some of my favourite places we visited were The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky and Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Muhammad Ali Centre was such an amazing place to see. The non profit, cultural centre took us through Muhammad Ali’s life, from childhood all the way to his career including the struggles he faced throughout his life. The most inspirational part of his story was his perseverance and determination to become the best in the boxing world. He didn’t let anyone affect his path to success, and when he did reach his goal he continually strived to become even better. Written around the entire centre were all the quotes he has said which were in a lot of cases very poetic. One of my favourite quotes of his is “Don’t count the days; make the days count.” because it really shows that if you put in a lot of work and effort everyday, results will come. Here are some photos of the museum:

Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia was a really cool place to visit not only for the beautiful view of the sunset but the history of the building. The building was originally home to Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other retail stores from 1926 to 1979. The building was then used as the city hall in 1990. Today the building still uses the old elevator from when the building was originally built. When we went to Ponce City Market, we went up to the roof of the building where there was a beautiful view of the city. It was golden hour perfect for taking some photos of our team. This was a really fun place to go with my team and nice to see a part of Atlanta.

One thing I learned from all these tournaments was how mentally tough I needed to be. With playing that many games, my body became physically tired which made playing the fast paced games a heck of a lot harder. This is where the mental toughness had to kick in as when things weren’t necessarily going my way whether it be a missed shot or just a simple mistake.

Link: https://images.app.goo.gl/sjmbWyjmCL283kcY8

To become more focused and improve my mental toughness, I decided to use an app called Headspace to listen to a sports competition meditation. This was super helpful in the sense that it helped me accept my mistakes and move forward to really put everything I have into competing to the best of my abilities.

The Vietnam War and Conceptual Art

 

Throughout this past term we grained a deeper understanding regarding the events of the Vietnam War and the meaning of Conceptual Art.

Vietnam War

After focusing on these subjects, we then took what we learned and created a piece of conceptual art telling a story about some aspect of the Vietnam war. For my piece of conceptual art I decided to create a immersive projection experience representing the media’s influence on the American’s perspective during the war. Here is a short video of the projections that were shown:

IMG_7292.TRIM

Now let’s take a look at the research and steps I took to get to this final conceptual art piece. During the research process about the Vietnam War we focused on 7 main themes of the Vietnam War including:

The forces that fuelled the Vietnam War

Popular beliefs and Misconceptions

Leadership and Decision Making

Who Fought in the Vietnam War 

How the War Was Fought 

Propaganda, Truth, and the Media

The War at Home

I really find learning about 20th century history interesting so I really enjoyed this entire year as we learned about the 1950s, 60s, and part way through the 70s. When learning about the Vietnam war it was a little confusing to me at times as the ethics of the war is highly debated. When I was doing research and trying to find different sources it was interesting to see the differing of opinions during the war from different perspectives. These differing opinions were one of the parts that fuelled my conceptual art.

On top of learning about the Vietnam War we also depended our learning about the true meaning behind conceptual art. This type of art is very different from the traditional definition of what we think of when we look at art. At first when we started learning about it I was kind of confused myself about this type of art, asking questions and making statements like “Is that really art? I could make that and how on earth does that thing really have a deeper meaning?” However the more we learning about the art the more I started to understand that conceptual art isn’t about the art itself but the story behind it that is being portrayed. Conceptual art is make to create a conception between the art and the audience and provoke some sort of emotion. 

Here is an example of conceptual art:

Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges)
Roelof Louw
1967

To really bring this understanding to life we visited a conceptual art exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery to take a look at some famous pieces of conceptual art and look at the story the t was being presented by the artists. I wasn’t really knowing what to expect as well conceptual art can really be anything. Here are a couple photos of some of the pieces that were displayed at the art gallery:

Once we established a deeper understanding about the Vietnam War and conceptual art, it was time to start thinking of ideas to combined the two. To cap off the year we finished with a conceptual art piece showing our learning and understanding of a specific aspect of the Vietnam War. I decided to focus on the war back home specifically the media’s influence on the American’s perfective during this time. This is the part I wanted to focus on because it seemed like the most interesting to me. Drawing upon various different perspectives during this time including the American citizens perspective of being able to see the war from their very own living room. 

The more I began to research into this part of the war, the more I started to incorporate various elements we learned about into the point I wanted to get across. After reading various primary sources including journals, website articles and other trusted sources I created my thesis for my art. I also wrote up paragraphs on the historical evidence I included, the emotion I wanted to provoke and how I wanted to feel. Here is my conceptual art deep think, art proposal, historical statement and artist statement:

The wall of projections is a piece that focuses in on the horror and devastation of the My Lai Massacre. Emphasizing how the media had a massive influence on the American perspective. The projected photos are those form journalist on the scene showing the terror that arose in the village of My Lai. The words displayed on the screen are headlines of newspapers and quotes for the American army and Vietnamese survivors, showing the perspective from the people at the massacre that was heard from, the general public. The constant change in directions of the images and texts show the differing perspectives of the people influence by various sources. At the time the government was saying a completely different story than the media who where showing the true horror of what was happening in Vietnam. As the war was known as the war on television my piece is solely projections showing the true effect the media had on the American’s perspective.
During the 1960s and 1970s media had a huge influence on the Americans perspective during the Vietnam war. With more than 90% of U.S. households having a television by 1965 and as much as 60% of people getting their news from what they saw on tv, the media played a key role of informing people towards the true horror of the war. Throughout this time technologies also began to become more portable and light weight making it easy for journalists to capture the reality of the fighting occurring in Vietnam. One of the event s that had a massive effect on the American people through the use of the media coverage was the My Lai Massacre, one of the most “horrific incidents of violence” (history.com) during the Vietnam war. American soldiers killed an estimated 500 civilians in the village of My Lai including children, women and elders. The army tried to cover the story up however the media and press eventually revealed the incident in November 1969 fuelling the anti war movement and protests. The publicity of the My Lai Massacre was released at a time when the government was trying to seek support of the war during nationwide Veterans Day. The number of veteran day supports didn’t come close to matching the number of anti war protestors. The horrific truths shown by the media made it so Americans saw every side of the war, even when the government was trying to cover it up. People were shocked and angry by what was happening right in front of their eyes. This directly lead to the massive movement where tens fo thousands of people protested various times to put an end to the war. One of the most famous protests was at Kent State University where college students whom were at the age mainly effected by the draft protested to stop the war. During the protest national guards were called to stop the protest leading to the shooting of 4 students. This shocked the US as it went against the country’s democracy which states that everyone has the right to protest bringing up big issues within the United States in a way bringing up a question fo why would America be fighting in this war if there are issues within the United States. The massive movements and questioning against the United States’ involvement in Vietnam was all caused by the fact that the Vietnam War was showed for all of America to see the brutality and horror of War through television and journalism.

Before creating my art piece I had various ideas as to what type of art I wanted to display. However to create this visual presentation I had to come up with the story first, aka finding the idea behind the art. Once I had my story regarding the media’s influence, I started brainstorming ideas. While letting my creative juices flow I recalled an art piece at The Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg which used projected words and a massive screen. This inspired the direction in which I wanted to go with my art piece, I decided I was going to use projections and visuals I created to get my point across of the media’s influence on the American’s perspective during the Vietnam War. Focusing on the My Lai Massacre, I showed visuals of the horrific tragedy of the massacre in a disorienting way. Using keynote I created a video with images from the My Lai massacre shown in all different directions, upside-down, right side up, and flipped horizontally. This created a disorienting effect which was to represent the various different perspectives and confusing during this time in history. I also created visuals using quotes from newspapers, soldiers, and Vietnamese people and showed words that describe what happened. When I finished creating my conceptual art it consisted of 3 projections, two of which had 9 various images and quotes displayed at one time and the third with words describing the incident. 

Below is one of the videos that was displayed on the screen:

IMG_9866.TRIM

After creating these visuals I was ready to put them together to create my conceptual art for exhibition night. When I first went to set up my piece there were a couple complications regarding set up and how I could create an immersive experience using 3 projectors and 3 projector screens. I ended up setting the projectors up in a semi box shape them I used a white photography sheet over the projectors to make it look like one screen. Overall I’m very happy with how my piece ended up looking, However if I would have done this to a larger scale in a professional gallery I would have liked to use more projections on the ceiling and floor to make an experience that is fully immersive and shows the true horror of the Vietnam War. I also regret not taking a lot of photos in the moments of creation as I would have liked to display them within this post.

 While people were walking threw the exhibition I explained my concept art to them by sharing the idea and story and how that created the concept art. It was very interesting hearing opinions and feedback on my art as a bunch of the visitors to our exhibition were alive around the time of the Vietnam war. One conversation I had with an older man was very insightful, listening to what it was actually like to see the horrific images displayed on television. This was probably one of my favourite exhibitions that I’ve done with PLP as I was able to have deep and meaningful conversations with people regarding the Vietnam War. 

Following this exhibition and reflecting back on the process of this project really showed me the great lengths of learning I did through the entirety of this unit. I especially found it interesting to bind together two drastically different areas (aka the Vietnam War and Conceptual Art) and create a project that helped me understand the topics on a completely different level. Within this project I was able to advance my video creation, editing and technology based skills. Including also making real world connection and a truly deeper understanding to the events that took place in the Vietnam War. I will definitely look to apply the skills I’ve learned in this project to my work in following years. 

TPOLs 2019

TPOLs!! We’ve done them since grade eight so you can probably expect what they are going to be about. The usual course: I did this piece of work, didn’t understand it but then after the project my understanding grew. But this year I decided to change it up, instead of doing the usual: this is the work I’m proud of, this is the work that shows my improvement etc. I decided to review this entire year and see if my skills that I’ve done continually progressed from start to the finish of grade 11. I then set progressive goals for each of the aspects of my learning.

This year was very different than previous PLP years as we only had 2 classes in PLP in comparison to having 5 PLP classes. Having only two classes taught by PLP teachers and the rest taught by mainstream teachers made our workload pretty heavy with trying to manage the growing expectations to continually succeed in the program (which is a good thing) with the weekly tests in various other subjects. On top of having a heavy case load, I also play high level basketball which takes up most of my time after school and on weekends. Looking back on this year was probably the most physically and academically challenging year to handle so far in high school. 

Throughout this year we have been doing a course called PGP (personal growth plan) which has really helped me understand the right steps to take to balance my busy schedule. This course has really helped improve my organizational skills and I’m going to show you how. Using my TPOL from previous years and comparing the skills and tools I’ve learned throughout this year. 

Productivity, Goal Settings and Habits=A Successful Student

If you can probably already guess, in previous years my goal was always to develop my time management skills within my busy schedule however I never really set out a plan for myself of how to achieve this goal. Sure I might have said I wanted to plan my schedule ahead of time but I never outlined the ‘How’ and that’s what PGP helped me with this year. We learned how to set goals, plan ahead, time block and prepare for the future. Throughout the year we used multiple sources including the books “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen” and “What Do You Really Want”. At first I thought learning about all this was a little overkill as explained in my previous MPOL however I grew to like the course. The aspects that really changed time management for me were the time blocking, planning for the future and goal setting as it will help me for my entire life. This year there were glimpses of great use of the skills but I still haven’t fully incorporated them into every aspect of my life. 

An example of applying these skills I’ve learned into my school schedule is my time blocking during these last couple of weeks of school in comparison to the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year I procrastinated a lot more leaving studying for tests and projects and assignments until the last minute. After learning about time blocking, I’ve gradually started to incorporate it into my life and just in the last couple of weeks which were filled with exams and final projects, I’ve taken these skills to heart. This left me time everyday leading up to projects and tests to study and prepare. I’ve even created a new rule for myself that I have to start studying for a test at least 4 days in advance. Even in the short amount of time, setting out this amount of time has made an improvement on my performance in tests and exams.

Even though I haven’t fully applied these skills into my life, from what I have done I can definitely tell you that it makes a difference. I’m less stressed and overwhelmed and I feel in control of my schedule. My goal by the end of the summer is to fully organize and plan my schedule using the skills I’ve learned so by grade 12 I’m fully ready to start the year.  To do this I will continue to use the bullet journal I created for my final PGP project.

Title Page

Another type of work I decided to compare was my writing skills and development throughout the year. Writing has always been something I’ve struggled with especially in class under a time limit. Following winter break we focused primary on these writing skills: starting with paragraphs and later moving on to narrative and research in class essays. This was a really hard unit for me, however it definitely made me have a greater appreciation for writing and helped improve my own writing skills. One of the first writing prompts we had was writing a whale song, which seemed very random however this wasn’t the most random of the writing prompts. Everyday we had a different writing prompting in which we would have to spend around 20 mins writing about that prompt. Although at first I didn’t enjoy these writing prompts, the longer we did them the more time I wanted to spend writing them. Specifically, we had one writing assignment which was based around writing a paragraph about an item that had family relevance in Ondaatje’s style of writing. This was one of the most difficult writing prompts and took me the longest to write but it was the one I was most proud of.

Family Artifact

Paragraph in Ondaatje’s style of writing

My writing definitely improved throughout this writing unit and prepared (partially) for my historical research essays on the Cold War. This essay was one of the most difficult things I had to write about as I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and tackle a topic with a driving question that there wasn’t really a whole lot of evidence about. My essay topic was about how having both Russia and the USA with the right to veto in the UN, was the leading cause for the length of the Cold War. This essay took me a long time to write as I wanted to really show my depth and understanding of this topic in an interesting essay. Although I struggled with writing this essay, I think the preparation we did leading up to this essay really helped me prepare for this essay. When looking back on my writing, the two pieces I directly compared were my two research essays. Although these essays weren’t far apart from each other, I definitely see an improvement in my writing. In my second research essay, I was able to express my own opinion towards the topic using primary sources to back up my point. I also used multiple different points to back up my thesis instead of just the standard 3 points to back up the thesis. I feel like this really helped me in getting my point across as I didn’t have to conform to the typical essay format. 

Even though I think my writing has improved throughout this year there is still a lot I want to do to develop and enhance my writing skills. The only way to do so is to practice wiring and read more. So my goal over the summer is to write at least two learning portfolio posts on different things I did and to read at least two books throughout the summer. This will hopefully help me take the next step in improving my writing to better prepare myself for grade 12.

This year hasn’t really been focused on one individual skill which I’ve enjoyed because I’ve been able to do a variety of different projects, from videos to essays to class projects. One of the projects that I thought showed a diversification of my different skills was my We Shall Overcome Project. This was a partner video project we did based on an individual who changed a system. The reason why this is one of the projects that I am the most proud of is not necessarily the final product but the process in which I took to get there. I decided that my video project needed another aspect to it on top of just creating a video so I decided to try and get an interview with someone from the Hockey Hall of Fame. At first I didn’t think I was going to get a response back but then I received an email back from Kelly Masse, the Director of Corporate and Media Relations. From there I planned a time, created questions and interviewed her over the phone. This was a really great experience for a project and really helped me take my learning to the next step. It also allowed me to reach outside of my comfort zone and into a real world experience. This is the final video that we created will the interview within it.

My goal in the future is to apply these skills I’ve learned of putting myself outside my comfort zone into every project to add an extra aspect to every project. This will help me grasp a deeper understanding for the topic and shoot for exceptional work.

This year has been a difficult year with a lot of ups and downs. I’ve faced many challenges both in and out of school. I’ve felt like I’ve been able to embrace this challenge and take the next step to succeed in all the work I do. I will apply these skills I’ve learned to the future to help me continually improve and succeed both in and outside of school.

Ending The Year Strong With PGP

PGP has been a huge part throughout this past year in PLP, from learning to properly time block our schedules to setting goals in all our academic courses. This course has really helped me focus in on the steps I need to take to become a more productive and critical student towards my use of time. With this course being new this year I wasn’t really sure how I’d like and after practically being down this school year I would deem PGP a success!! In previous years we had times where we applied these skills however there was never really a time where we focused solely on improving our personal growth. My perspective towards planning and time management has changed completely, before a goal of mine was always to improve my time management skills and now after completing this course I think I can really say that I have exceeded my expectations about what I have learned and improving these skills.

If you would like to see how the process of my PGP journey, you can check out my mPOLs post where I talk about time blocking and time management.

Productivity, Goal Settings and Habits=A Successful Student

Using what we have learned during this part year we were tasked with creating a final project to represent our learning and growth as a student throughout the year. The project is based around the question:

“what do you wish you had known how to do (from your PGP course) in September? How would it have helped you if you HAD known this wondrous information?”

This is what I created to answer the question above:

To answer this question we could create whatever we wanted to in hopes of helping us to show the answer to our project question. This project is called the Time Machine Project. With such a broad realm of ideas to choose from, I wanted to pick something that was meaningful to me and would continually push me to apply the skills I’ve learned this year to my day to day life. I decided to create a bullet journal to help me stay organized and plan for the future.

To pitch our ideas to our teachers we had to fill out a pitch form which included what our object was going to be and the area of learning in which our final product would be focused towards. I decided to focus my project on the Private Victory part of the 7 habits. This part was about rewarding yourself for the small victories and planing for the future. I really wanted to focus on this element of the learning we did this year because I found one of the helpful and critical as I continually use these skills in the future. This is my pitch form:

The main reason behind choosing the bullet journal instead of some of the typical PLP projects we do is because I wanted to create something that I could continue with after we finished this project. Having the option to do whatever we wanted to help show our understanding and learning throughout the course really made me enjoy this year end assignment a lot more. I was able to add my personality and a creative touch into my project. As well as create something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

Time Management and Time blocking is a super important key part to helping me become a more productive and proactive student. A lot of the assignments leading up to this project have really helped me prepare for using these skills in my day to day life. From studying for a test to time blocking a couple days a week to workout my perspective towards improving my habits and time management skills has changed dramatically. At the beginning of the year I wasn’t really sure how much I would be willing to or want to incorporate these skills into my day to day life however once I saw how people outside of our course use these strategies to balance their busy schedules on top of various activities I started to change my mentality and perspective of the effect these skills have on our life.

A couple months ago I got to meet a Canadian professional basketball player named Ruth Hamblin, who has played college basketball, Basketball in Europe and even in the WNBA!

 

 

When we were given the opportunity to ask her questions, I asked her how she managed her busy schedule in college with classes in an intensive engineering course, daily practices and workouts. She responded by talking about how she uses a journal to time block and plan out her schedule and a weekly review to look over her time management of that previous week. When I heard that someone I look up to and admire so much using these skills in her day to day life to manage her schedule I knew that what we were learning would come in handy for the rest of my life. Especially due to the fact that I want to play basketball in university and potentially take sciences in university, these skills will definitely be helpful. Having the opportunity to meet Ruth Hamblin and hear how she uses these time management skills was the inspiration behind my bullet journal.

 

A Time When The World Was On The Brink…

The fear of nuclear bombs destroying the entire world today kind of seems like a foreign idea to me. Sure in the news I’ve hear about the major nuclear powers of the world yet it’s never really been out on the top of my mind. However there was a period of time where people all around the world felt the fear of nuclear destruction. A threat that lasted over 40 years known as the Cold War. 

For the past few weeks our focus in PLP 11 has been on the Cold War. With our unit based around the driving question “How was the world on the brink?” Throughout this unit we went in depth about the different events/actions that left the world on the brink of destruction. To do this we watched films, had class discussions and listened to lectures to truly get an in depth understanding.

During the span of a couple classes we watched a movie called “13 Days” which was a Drama/Docudrama film about the Cuban Missile Crisis and how close the world was to going to nuclear war. Although some of the scenes were fictionalized, I think that this movie was a really educational way to learn about Cold War gave me a visual depiction of what happed during the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. After we finished watching the movie we wrote a critical analysis regarding the movie making and historical content. I decided to focus my paragraph on the movie’s interpretation of the political and military heads. This is the paragraph I wrote:

As John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Kenny O’Donnell discuss the options regarding the missile issue in Cuba during a critical scene in the movie “Thirteen Days”. O’Donnell says “There is no expert on this subjects, there’s no wise old man, shit it’s just us” referring to how no one including the joint chiefs of staff could be an expert on such a topic as nuclear war. This quote from the film helped portray a show that they are only human and don’t know the future outcomes of certain decisions. At times such as these during the film the tension between the political minded heads and the military is clearly outlined.Yet was this portrait the movie painted a clear representation of the historically events? Throughout the film General LeMay, Chief of Staff of the Air Force as well as many of the other military personnel were pushing Kennedy to choose to destroy the missiles in Cuba however what the US armed forces didn’t take into consideration was the effect this would have on not only America but the entire world. Trying to destroy such missiles would have lead to a World War 3, a nuclear war. The movie portrayed these discussions as intense debates between the divided sides of what to do about the nuclear missiles in Cuba. Although not entirely accurate these heated discussions really helped viewers to understand the drastic decisions that had to made during this crucial time.One key interaction between O’Donnell and a pilot during the film included O’Donnell telling the Airforce pilot to lie to the head of command about being shot while flying over Cuba. This part of the film was completely fictional. While this event didn’t actually take place, it played a key role presenting the underlying ideas of the film. Specifically by the pilot reporting back to his superiors that he wasn’t shot at to avoid going to war and in hopes of a future for America. During the actual period pf the 13 days there were many instances where the United States and Russia were seconds away from nuclear war. In my opinion this scene did a good job of representing how if one thing were to have gone a separate way the outcome could have been different. At times JFK and the military had very different opinions of how to handle the missiles. It is clear that many of the decisions Kennedy made wouldn’t have been the same choices as the military and If the military would have been in charge there could have been a drastically different outcome that would have effected the entire world. Throughout this movie scenes were portrayed with more intensity then the real event which allowed views to understands the historical facts within the movie while creating an engaging experience for viewers to watch.
A long and harsh 5 years came to a close on September 2, 1945 with much of the world just having experienced trauma and major devastation. The sound of rapid gun fire had scarcely faded into the background and it was clear the world was in need of security and hope in order to ensure a peaceful future. As a result the victorious allied forces created the United Nations to maintain balance and order in a previously unstable world. In spite of this effort a conflict arose between two of the founding members of the United Nations. This 40 year conflict was between USA and the soviet Union and was known as the Cold War . The tension between the United States and the Soviet Union had a major effect on the UN security council’s power to protect the world during this period of time. With both countries having the right to veto any major decisions, the two Cold War enemies could essentially act in their own self interest without consequences. This ineffectiveness of the United Nations was one of the leading causing for the length of the cold war. The five permanent seats on the security council consisted of the 5 major allied powers following the second world war. At the time this seemed to the most logical decision as all five of the countries were active in international negotiations and relations. Following this “resolution” the allies became divided over communism and capitalism. A split between two dramatically different worlds. American people living with a government of election and freedom of press. The Soviet Union was the opposite, with non elected totalitarian government. This concept is demonstrated by Aiyaz Husain statement in a journal article that by the UN’s early years it had become obvious “that competing political interests would severely limit the ability of the 5 permanent members of the security council to work in unison to preserve international peace”. ( Husain,A. the American journal of international law vol 101;581: 598) Within the security council the five permanent members had the power to veto any idea being put forth. Anyone of the permanent members can halt any actions even if the rest of the members agreed to a solution. This allowed the countries of power to make decisions solely based on their own country’s interest. Which essentially destroyed any opportunity for conflict resolution. This was a massive issue during Cold War and can be seen by the inability of the UN to act effectively during the conflicts in Korea, Indonesia, Kashmir, and Palestine. While member states will appear on the Sofia Bergman 2 surface to support the UN they really use it to achieve their own goals. Any action that goes against their self interest is vetoed and “kills the resolution” (CNN April 2, 2019. United Nations Security Council Fast Facts ), making the United Nations Power inconsequential during the Cold War. The USA and the Soviet Union were in a cold war nuclear arms race . The constant terror of nuclear war dwelled in the back of people’s minds. There was no one to protect the world from the horror and devastation a nuclear bomb could bring. The United Nations was meant to protect the security and international peace of the world but due to the veto members being the countries involved in the arms race the UN had the will but not the power to stop the escalation of the nuclear arsenal. When the Soviets forfeited their seat in the security council the UN was able to approve support of South Korea after North Korea invaded and send UN/USA troops as an anti-communist war effort. This would never have happened if the Soviet Union could have used their veto. The situation within Korea demonstrates that UN could only act when there were not 2 veto powers of polar opposite political views. An example of the flawed system of the UN security counsel veto power was demonstrated when the Soviet Union abused their power and didn’t take responsibility for their actions when they shot down a Korean Airline Flight in 1983. The Soviet Union stated that they through that the plane was a US spy plane and by using their veto power they did not allow the UN to denounce their action. There are five permanent seats on the UN Security Council, two of which had economic and political opinions as different as day and night. The Americans and the Soviet Union have seats of power and the right to veto within the UN security counsel. The security counsel was meant to promote peace but the Formation of the Security Council was the leading cause of the Cold War and increased the tension between United States and Soviet Union. Following the extended time of conflict, the United Nations was left with the task of evaluating the structure of the security council, “the most important Sofia Bergman 3 function in the united nations” (Snyder, R. Reforming The Security Council For The Post-Cold War) as stated in the charter. However today the permanent members remain the same as when the organization was first formed. Knowing the severity and length of the cold war and the issues following having polar opposite countries in seats of power. Will this permanent formation promote the main goals of the United Nations or will the security council need to be reassessed because of further issues that will arise in the future? Works Cited Husain, Aiyaz. The United States and the Failure of UN Collective Security: Palestine, Kashmir, and Indonesia, 1947-1948. The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 101, No. 3 (Jul., 2007), pp. 581-599. United Nations Security Council Fast Facts. CNN Library. CNN, April 2, 2019. Snyder, R. Reforming The Security Council For The Post-Cold War. International Journal on World Peace, Vol. 14, No. 1 (MARCH 1997), pp. 3-16.

Now you’re probably wondering about the essay that is right below the paragraph I mentioned above. Well this essay is the final product of this unit, it shows my understanding of the cold war and my ability to dive deeper on the subject. Below is the process behind this essay.

Once we finished learning about the key parts of the cold war we went onto learn that we would be doing an end of the unit research essay. Meaning we would be using primary sources and property citing them.The essay we wrote was based on our unit’s driving question using evidence from the learning we’ve done on the cold war. So far this year we’ve had a big focus on writing specifically during the last unit where we wrote two essays in the span of a couple weeks, This essay was a little different than the essays we had written before. 

When choosing a topic for this essay we were encouraged to reach outside the realm of typical answers to the question of “How was the world on the brink?” I decided to reach outside my comfort zone and strive for a topic that I thought was interesting and would be a little harder to write about. I chose to write about how having Russia and the United Staes with permanent seats not the United States Security Council with the right to veto left the world on the brink. While in the process of writing the essay at time I found it hard to get my ideas down on paper. Sometimes I have so much I want to say regarding a subject but its difficult for me to elaborate on these subjects through writing. This leads to me spending hours upon hours just trying to figure out how to get all my ideas down on paper in an orderly fashion. This is definition something I want to try and improve upon as I want to drastically up my writing game. 

UN Security Council

Instead of just following the typical five paragraph essay we just wrote as many paragraphs as was need to support our point. Also the order we wrote our essays in was a little different, the first thing we wrote was the thesis which makes sense. Then we went onto write our introduction paragraph with doing little to no research. This was to get us to write down our idea of what we wanted to focus our essay on. After writing the essay we received feedback from our teacher on our writing which I found really helpful to progress me along and improve upon my writing skills. Following writing our introduction we were tasked with writing our conclusion which was not the usual way I had learned how to write an essay. At this point in time I hadn’t even really done much research on my topic and I didn’t know why we were writing it like this. Nonetheless once I wrote the conclusion it allowed me to clearly outline the points I wanted to make and the outcome of these points. Once we had received an approved conclusion we were allowed to start our body paragraphs. This was the most difficult part for me as I had to find a way to incorporate quotes primary source using only a couple words. In the end I think I did a pretty good job of integrating these quotes and using them to support the points I was trying to make. Although its always something I can improve on and strive to be better at in writing.

At first I found writing the essay like this a little difficult as ever since I’ve started writing essays we’ve based them around the five paragraph format from thesis through to conclusion. However after writing this essay in this format, I found it actually made writing the essay a lot more functional as I wasn’t trying to grasp at ideas to pull certain things together. Although I found writing this essay very difficult as writing is not my strong suit, it was definitely a good experience. As in University I will potentially be writing a lot of research papers and now I will have experience doing so.

1960s Social Change

During the time period of cold war specifically the 1960s there was a lot of social change occurring. It was a decade full of historical moments and people who changed the American society.

Just last unit we learned about the civil rights movement which took place throughout the 1960s. This movement lead to huge social changes in America including voting rights and ciivl rights acts. The movement helped African Americans fight for equal rights in America, becoming young change makers. If you want to read more about this unit we did and the different key elements of the Civil Rights Movement than you can read this learning portfolio post. 

Willie O’Ree, An Individual Who Changed A System

Along with being a time of protest against discrimination of black citizens, the 1960s included a lot of protests for women’s rights and to end the War in Vietnam. The role of women drastically changed in American society. Shifting from on of the women being solely house wives to having a massive impact in the paid workforce. 

In 1963 Betty Friedan a feminist activist wrote the book called “The Feminine Mystique” which is credited for being a major influence of the women’s rights movement. Along with writing this book, Betty Friedan was also one of the founders of the Nations Organization for Women (NOW). Throughout the next few decades she was a massive influence towards creating equal opportunities for women, including fighting for a bigger role in politics. Another organization she established in the late 1960s was the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (which is today known as NARAL Pro-Choice America). Betty’s impact and protest for equal rights has had a major influence on our society today. Without her action to force change our society might not be where we are today. 

Here is a visual I created representing the social change in the United States during the 1960s:

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