1945 and 2020

Hi, hello, and welcome. This post is all about conceptual art, the Manhattan project, and historical significance. If that’s your cup of tea, get ready for my take on it. The last project we did, the one this post is about, centred around a pretty big driving question. How can we use conceptual art to show the historical significance of the Manhattan project? This question, at first, seems simple enough. Make a piece of wacky art to put on display the lasting effects of the atom bomb. When you dive deeper, you really start to wonder, how in the hell am I going to do this? I don’t know anything about the Manhattan project!

Well, along with the blatant inaccuracies in the prior sentence, your teachers, for the most part, have thought of that. I was surprised to realize how much I already knew. Of course it wasn’t enough to give an informed opinion on the bomb, but it was a good bit.

It turns out, studying history before the bomb, gives you a pretty good idea of how things are going to go. History tends to repeat itself. Knowing about World War One and the events leading up to the bomb, gives you historical context for the actions taken by the scientists in the Manhattan project.

While I had knowledge I could build upon, I definitely needed more to create a piece that I could be proud of. The way in which to do this was to attend lectures and make good notes. When I say make good notes I mean not just writing down facts and dates. Although those are both important! I mean creating something new. Using your brain to do what it’s made to do, think!

I definitely needed to work on this. Without using this skill I don’t think I could have created something as successful as my final piece. I used the things I created in my notes to build my idea.

As avid readers of my blog, I must imagine you are gobbling up every piece of content I create. If you are new here, and haven’t got sucked into my witty remarks and insightful posts yet, I will remind you of a post I did within this realm recently. This post is that very one. “How did doing that post help with this post and your final project?” I hear you ask.

That post centres around the historical significance of the book Hiroshima by John Hersey as I view it. Working on that post helped me build my understanding of historical significance. I needed this in order to transfer that knowledge to conceptual art. It also helped me identify what was important to me in terms of events that occurred within the Manhattan Project.

With that knowledge and with the knowledge created in our classes, we ventured downtown to learn more about conceptual art. We got to experience real world conceptual art first hand. This was very exciting. Seeing what others define conceptual art as and seeing a physical representation of their ideas helped me understand what I needed to put in my piece.

“Bag Piece” by Yoko Ono

Now after this trip, I started to panic. How can I manage to do what those artists did and include the historical significance of the atom bomb?

Teamwork played a role in this project but in a different way than how it usually does. We all were instructed to create art, as you are, hopefully, aware of by now. But as you might not know, we also were expected to turn an ordinary classroom into a makeshift art gallery. We were divided into different categories that fit our art and within those groups, work to transform a classroom into a space to display our creations.

I know I am a leader. That is one of my strengths. In a team setting, I tend to see who wants to take the lead before I jump in. If there is someone who wants to, great! I’m happy to let them lead or work with them to make a project successful. If no one particularly wants to, I usually step in.

In this case, I think I worked well with Grace, (who’s blog you should totally check out,) in acting as curators for our PLP gallery. We both communicated well and assigned roles that hopefully fit right.

Our art gallery’s category was Morals, Ethics, and Philosophy. All of our art pieces fit within this group fairly well. Grace and I created a layout for the room. We tried to create a story with our layout. The introductory art piece made by Alex, was asking a question. If you want to know more about that question, go check out his blog. It’s linked to his name.

As you moved throughout the gallery the story progressed. Ending with a final digital creation made by Angelo and Anders. Their art asked us to make a decision based upon the knowledge we gained during the course of the gallery. I think our layout was successful! I felt, as I was walking though it, it told the story we were trying to portray.

The final product, what you’ve all been waiting for. My final product changed throughout the course of the exhibition. Now, while the actual art piece didn’t change, my explanation did. With it being conceptual art, if the idea changes the art changes. Take a look down below at an image of my art piece and try to form your own interpretation of it before I give my explanation.

“Cavern of Consequences” by Zoe Wooles

This conceptual art piece is never something I never thought I would get to do. Making art, especially on this scale, and getting to show it to people who know nothing about me is something I always thought was for other people to do. This pushed me out of my comfort zone.

When you walk directly up to the piece you are greeted with the inside view of the cave. It looks scraggly and unfinished. You see the hieroglyphic images on the wall, each one representing something. On the inside, is the damage done by the Manhattan project. The injuries and deaths it caused. The land destruction. The inevitability of it all.

On the outside you see the positives that came from it. The end of the war, the technology advancements, the potential for a green future.

The brief idea of this piece is that perspective changes your ideas on events. If you move yourself to one side you only see the positives. If you let the cavern consume you, you only see what is right in front of you.

I must add that I think every ideas others come up with is just as important as the one that I based my piece on.

I think my explanation in my artist statement is an example of me using what I know to make something new and something that resonates with people. Check it out below.

The Manhattan Project was a historically significant event because it changed our world forever. It’s lasting impact and huge scope of potential destruction makes it one of the most significant events in the world. It ticks all the boxes of being a milestone in human history.

What would I do differently? That is a great question. It’s one PLP students think about at the end of every project. Obviously, I had some setbacks. I built my final product out of cardboard two days before the presentation. This wasn’t a direct issue but it did stress me out. When I came in the next day it was completely broken. I decided to just roll with the punches and did my best to fix it. Next time, I would trust my gut and make sure it got left somewhere safe.

I would have also loved to me more separate from my art. This way viewers could have their own explanation of the piece without me explaining it.

I would also have loved to learn even more. I think when an opportunity arises for you to study something you are interested in you should take it. I did a little bit of self directed learning, like looking into Pig 311, (a fascinating story, check out a great article here,) but I wish I had done more. I hope next time something comes up that I want to learn more about I am able to use my Craft to make some really cool new ideas.

In conclusion, this project pushed me out of my comfort zone to try something new and I enjoyed it. I learned the things I needed to and then some. This project has pushed me forward in my learning more than I could have expected.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again soon.

Hiroshima and it’s Impact

John Hersey’s Hiroshima from 1946 pushes aside the emotional trauma from the survivors in favour of highlighting the physical ones. This may or may not have been done on purpose. I believe this was a purposeful choice on the part of the writer, so that the audience was left to imagine and sympathize with the victims of Hiroshima. What effect did this have on the book and how do peoples opinions change depending on what they are shown? 

The Historical significance of Hiroshima is one of the most influential themes throughout the book. Reading the beginning of this book gives us a sense of what the people were feeling at the time. Reading the final chapter where John Hersey comes back to the people impacted by the bomb brings the long term historical significance back into our minds. He does this by creating the book with just enough direct facts that they stick in our minds. 

Is the emotional aspect of Hiroshima overshadowed by the physical traumas? I have to say yes. The emotional parts are much less focused upon. In chapter three there is a most graphic description. “He reached down and took a woman by the hands, but her skin slipped off in huge, glove-like pieces.” The most graphic descriptions bring us directly to Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped. 

These physical ailments are much more direct. The emotional toll on the citizens of Hiroshima was most likely as long lasting as the radiation poisoning inflicted upon them. This can not be described in words. John Hersey made a direct choice to put the emotional feeling into the readers mind, left up for interpretation. This means that people who want to take the book into a deeper plane of the imagination are able to, and people who want to leave Hiroshima as a surface level interpretation aren’t forced to think about what they can’t handle. This was incredibly effective as we can see by the masses of the western world that have read Hiroshima and remember its contents. 

How did Hiroshima by John Hersey change the outlook of US citizens on the bomb? The outlook of US citizens was changed as soon as the book came out. The USA saw the atomic bomb as a feat of American ingenuity and a proud moment. The US had ended the war in one foul swoop. The citizens, and most definitely the scientists, had no idea what the total impact of the bomb would be. John Hersey’s Hiroshima completely ruined that idea as soon as it came out. The bomb was humans pushing past where they had ever gone before. This was a treacherous thing. The possibility that humans could turn other humans into permanent shadows of what they once were wasn’t something the US citizens had considered. 

In conclusion, John Hersey’s Hiroshima pushes aside the emotional trauma from the survivors in favour of highlighting the physical ones. This can be seen in the diction chosen and the simplicity of the writing style. This is not a negative thing, as it leaves the depth of feel up to the reader. John Hersey wrote this book for a reason and everyone who has read it, has read it with a similar reason. Hiroshima changed the opinions of a nation. 

The “Discovery” of North America

Hello and welcome! I hope you are well. Today’s post is one I am really excited about. It’s on the colonisation of North America and why it is significant. I have been recently trying to tackle my own ignorance about First Nation’s issues. I live, go to school, see my friends, and do just about everything else on First Nation’s land. I want to make sure I am respecting to the best of my abilities. I have an opportunity to learn more here and I intend to take it.

What is significance? On this topic different people have different opinions. The bare criteria for significance is if it was notable, if it was wide spread, if we still feel the affects today, and if it was memorialized. We’ve been discussing this in class recently and I think it’s interesting to see what different people find significant. I hope to work through this idea more in our next project on the Manhattan Project and the atom bomb.

Why do different people apply significance to different things? I think it goes back to our grade eight unit where we discussed worldview. Different people see the world differently so it goes without saying that you and I might place significance on different things. Does this make the thing less significant if not everyone assigns its significance? Does something being globally significant make it more important than something regionally significant? If an event is positive does it hold a different amount of significance than a negative one on the same scale? Just some ideas I hope to take with me into our next project.

Atom driver

Events in my life are probably not that globally significant, but think about the potential in the Mandela effect. If I wasn’t drinking tea right now, would my blog post be different? If my blog post was different, could it change the world in a small enough way to cause other consequences? This argument states that everything is significant, no matter how small. I think it’s and interesting perspective to have when talking about what makes things significant. It also goes back to some of the questions I asked earlier.

Back to the original topic, how is the “discovery” of North America significant? It was definitely notable. We read about it in our textbooks, we see it in our daily lives almost no matter where you live, and we face the consequences in our daily lives.

The scope of the discovery of North America was huge. It covered almost all of the world. It changed the things Europeans consumed and it also drastically changed the way the people who were “discovered” lived. This lead to a huge number of consequences. Some of that are relevant to Canadians, but also people all over the world, would be residential schools, the spread of disease, and the massacre of indigenous cultures. These things are coming to light to westerner’s now, but they have always been present.

We memorialize North American colonization through many things. Thanksgiving is a North American holiday celebrating the first meal that the Europeans had with the indigenous people of the land. This happens every year. If you want to know more about what really happened on the first thanksgiving, check out this awesome video by Adam Ruins Everything.

https://fb.watch/9k4E20rcs4/

What do I think? Well, between you and me I’m not sure if that is at all significant. I think the significance lies in what the people living here originally think. But that brings up even more questions!

I obviously think that this event was significant, that’s why I wrote a bloody blog post on it. It touched everyone’s lives all over the globe in one way or another and that makes it significant.

Thanks for reading. If anyone other than my teacher is reading, or even if you are my teacher, let me know what you thought of this post. I am trying so hard to improve my writing. I also know a good way to do that is accept and work with feedback.

The Next Generation of Politics

Welcome back to another post. This week I’d like to tell you a story. This is the story of a political party and the making of a video. A new kind of video. A video that will change the political landscape and how we view the next generation of politicians. 

First, what is the reason we created this video? How did we get here? The purpose of this video is to answer the question, how do we govern ourselves? If you are an avid reader of my blog you may remember that we already discussed this in another blog post. If you want to know how, in written word, I think we should govern ourselves, check out this blog post. 

My original answer was we need to govern ourselves differently than how we do now. Canada needs a change. The senate is outdated, along with our election system and our focus on money over our people. This is the core of the R&R party. We don’t want to work within the status quo, we want to demolish it. 

Why do we want to do this? We believe the status quo has let down Canadian citizens for centuries. It’s led to a lot of people not finding our who they truly are. It’s also led to stagnation in our ideas. We are becoming increasingly polarized and the status quo is only furthering this. 

How did this revolutionary party decide all this? The key members of the the R&R party are Ben D, Rihann H, Izzy L, Natalie C, and me. We worked tirelessly looking into other parties in Canada and researching what has worked and what has not. At the end of it all, we developed a press release that encompasses all of our ideas.  

These ideas inspired us. We communicated with other groups and found that our party was different than all the others. Because we are so unique, we decided we needed to create a campaign video that embodied this. All other groups went traditional. We took a risk. We wanted to talk directly to youth citizens and forget about what the older generation thinks. Have a look for yourself. 

This video obviously wasn’t perfect. We could have spent months making this project a masterpiece. Some of the jokes didn’t land perfectly and certain things were repetitive but bar all this, I like how it turned out!  If I could change one thing, I would put more focus on answering the driving question. We almost got there but were missing some of the depth the other groups had. 

As an extra part of this project, I created a keynote app. It encompasses most of the work we created. If the R&R party was to truly come into existence, we would create a much more detailed app. It would have all first hand information from the party. It would be unbiased and truthful. In my last blog post, I talked about how it was hard to find a simple and reliable source on what the parties believed. This would eliminate that challenge.

https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0NcBYlx2elGmP_FNuqz-AP4Bw#R&R

Overall, I thought that my group and I all learned what it meant to be part of a government. Our video was somewhat successful and our risk led to our ideas being shown in a different light. 

Thank you for reading this post. I’m trying to work on adding more depth into my writing so if you have any comments, they would be greatly appreciated. 

Party time!

Welcome to the best party ever. No, no the kind where you play games or meet new people. This party is going to change Canada.

The R&R party is something Canadian citizens have never seen before. The R&R party puts Canadians above the status quo.

R&R party stands for the Reform and Revise party. But what do we really stand for? We stand for equality, truth, and most importantly, a better Canada. Our party is unlike any other party. We want to put what Canadians want over what the status quo says is the right way to do things.

The R&R party’s first press release

In my last post, I discussed how Canadians can find it difficult to find a unified truth. This can lead to stress and uninformed decisions. The R&R party aims to create an unbiased platform that citizens can observe on a mobile device pertaining to the decisions and discussions that are going on inside government.

I also mentioned that through the Canadian electoral system,  Canadians can’t vote directly for the candidate they want to govern their riding. They are stuck between voting for a leader they’d like in federal office and one they want in their direct area. The R&R party aims to institute proportional representation to fix this issue.

We would do this by using Mixed-Member Proportional Voting. This means you would have two votes, one for your district leader and one for federal office. The ballot would look something like this:

A mock up ballot from Fairvote.org

The members of this party so far include Ben Di., Rhiann H., Isabelle l., Natalie C., and myself. If you are intrigued by my description of the R&R party, go look at theirs.

Why should you choose us? We are the only party that will put you first. We want your voice to be heard and acknowledged. We have put our ideas out there, now we wait for yours.

What does the country believe in?

Saturday September 18th, 1:27pm

Welcome to the first post of the 2021-2022 year! It’s my grade 11 year at my school, and it also is the year of the next Canadian election. As this election approaches, I wonder a few things. Mainly, how is the Canadian government structured and elected? I also wonder how accurate my predictions on how Canadians will vote, and what issues will be of utmost importance. The student vote is also coming to my school. I have a prediction of who I think the winner is going to be but I’ll save that for a bit later.

A man enters an advance polling station in Ottawa, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. Advance polls opened today ahead of the Federal Election Sept. 20th. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Sunday September 19th, 2:34pm.

OH MAN. I am not looking forward to tomorrow. I am so nervous about the potential results of the election. I think a lot of people feel this way. The conservatives and the liberals have quite close numbers, but the liberals are leading by a small percentage. I’m getting this info from CTV. I am scared of the possibilities this election brings. Climate change is becoming more and more prevalent  throughout the world and the Canadian government needs to address this in a much more substantial way than it currently is. The party that wins this election is going to be in charge of managing this surmounting task.

The liberals vs the conservatives in the polls, represented by me.

Monday September 20th, 7:56am.

It’s the morning of the federal election, and the student vote. I think Canadians will vote with what they believe. I hope that they don’t vote on a single issue. I feel confused about why our government works the way it does. You can’t elect the MLA you want without also putting a vote towards the party. If you love the liberal MLA  but dislike the party leader, what do you do? You’re stuck in a position where you have to either choose your country or your community. Why is the government structured like this? How could we fix this? Could we fix this? I made a short film about making this decision and how potentially stressful it can be. It’s set to a song that feels like a panic attack caving in on you.

The girl in the video is having anxiety attack over who to vote for in the election. The video is supposed to put you in her head with the things she’s thinking about. I hope you enjoy. It should feel like chaos.

Monday September 20th, 12:04pm.

Going back to my thoughts this morning, could we change how our elections work? Could we change how our government is structured? I did a little digging into why we have our government structured like this. My understanding of it is that lobbyists give money to MLA’s or other people of power in all levels of the government. They only receive this money if they promise to vote against election reform every time is it brought up. The lobbyists want the government to stay how it is so they can remain in power. So on one side of the equation you have the people in power working with individual citizens who want election reform, and on the other, is the lobbyists who want it to stay the same and with the reciprocates of money to keep it that way.

Monday September 20th, 7:58pm

The student election has been counted and the winner decided. It will be announced tomorrow in 1st period. The federal election has been mostly called. The liberals are predicted to win by a slim margin, but still keep a minority government. This election has felt like a waste. So much money has gone into it. That money could have helped so many people. I feel disappointed.

Tuesday September 21st, 4:15pm

The results of both elections have been declared and I feel animated by the outcome of one of them. Take a guess. The NDP came first in the student election. This makes me hopeful that the in the future elections we might see some potentially radical change. The Liberals remaining in power feels ok to me. I just noticed how much this post talks about my feelings around this elections. I don’t often write like this but I think I like it. It’s interesting that this comes up when talking about politics.

Tuesday September 21st, 8:03pm

I feel like this election has shown me a lot. This is the first time I have really been educated about how government works and about how Canadians choose the Prime Minister. I am hopeful for the future and trying to focus on the positive in the present. The influence of lobbyists is not what I think decisions should be made under, and elections stress me out. In conclusion, things happen, and time waits for no one. Thank you for reading, and goodnight.

The nifty fifties.

Ello and welcome back to another formative post. This week is all about fun and games. More specifically, 1950’s games and the children that created them.

The history of games in the 1950’s has a history. In more specific words, the games of the 1950’s were simple and relied on only things you could find around the house. Children had to entertain themselves as there was no one around to do it for them.

As I was in my orthodontist appointment earlier this week my hygienist, another hygienist, another patient, and myself we’re having a discussion about the 1990s. They were reminiscing on all the good parts of the 90s and the technology of the time. We were all discussing what our childhoods were like it sparked a thought in my mind that in the 90s, parents were more involved with children and in the 1950s, children were left to deal with themselves.

This made me think about my childhood. What did I have in common with the children of the 1950s? More than I thought actually! We both were mostly left to our own devises and the mistakes we made we suffered the natural consequences. For example, putting two people on two skateboards sitting down, and going down a large hill holding hands was a bad idea because the skateboards want to go in two different directions. The natural consequence of this is that you crash and get injured.

We definitely also had things not in common. I hated wearing dresses and from a young age didn’t feel gender roles were really something I liked. I would not have done well in the 50s because of this.

In conclusion, the children of the 50s had a childhood that was relatively unique to them except for some aspects.

How did Canadian life change after World War Two?

How did Canadian life change after World War Two? This was the driving question of our latest project in PLP 10, and honestly, I’m surprised by how much the entire world changed. Canada especially was at the forefront of post war evolution. This blog post is all about how I came to answer that question. So, let’s get into it. 

Starting off with the very beginning. A pretty great place to start. This project was in collaboration with the Deep Cove heritage society. They are an organization that talks about the history of deep Cove and how it’s changed. This involves talking about how it changed after WW2, which is where we came in. 

The competencies we were applying in the project were: discuss, listen, and speak, and also continuity and change. These two different competencies guided our project along. I usually hate working along side these types of competencies but I found that  on this occasion, they helped me focus in on doing my best work. They also structured what I wanted to say in my podcast and in other work.

To get to the final interview podcast, I had to find someone to interview. As my podcast topic is traditions, my goal was to find an interviewee that could tell me about a Canadian event that they had been present for throughout several years. I got lucky with this one, Asha and Grace both helped me by recommending Trevor Carolan. A man of many talents. 

One thing I found I definitely excelled at was the presentations. We did a series of two presentations on two different things but in both I felt like I did very well in both. I showed that I knew what I was talking about and used the skills I’ve been developing to share my knowledge.

My final podcast was something I’m relatively proud of. I had a difficult time with some of the editing but I pushed past that and I’m confident in the end result. 

The final answer I came up with was expressed in the paper I wrote in one of the final days of this project. I’m really proud of my work here. I feel like it expresses my answer to the driving question. So Zoe, how did Canadian life change after World War Two?

Canadian life after World War Two would never be the same as it was before the war. Canadian life changed in both social and economic ways. This lead to the Canadian quality of life improving in visible ways, like the development of the suburbs and various Canadian social programs. These programs allowed for Canadians to thrive in Canada and thus allow for the growth of Canadian pop culture. The learning I have done in this project let me explore Canada’s foundations and it’s national identity. 

The driving force in the economic boom after the war was the baby boom. This action acted as the first domino in a line of many. To prevent a depression after the war, the Canadian government pumped money back into the economy. Canadian citizens were stable enough to support children and themselves, and thus responded by having children. This grew the need for many things, like new industries, a bill of rights, and unions. 

There were so many new people in Canada like, immigrants, new children, and, soldiers returning from war. All of these new people needed support. Social programs acted as a national support system to help Canadians live the best life they could. Some of these programs were paid maternity leave, employment insurance, and most notably, Medicare. Paid maternity leave was introduced in British Columbia in 1966, and this allowed for women who stayed in the workforce after the war ended to have children while still being able to support themselves. Employment insurance gave Canadians the opportunity to make money in unstable jobs without worrying they would be unable to provide if they were fired due to no fault of their own. 

These social programs led to the Canadian quality of life to improve in many ways. People could afford housing, have families, not die of a small infection, or go broke because of an injury. Canadian citizens were able to get back to a post war lifestyle, but better! The introduction of the nuclear family gave Canadians ideals to strive for, and the television gave them information that was easily accessible. The quality of life for Canadians drastically improved from the quality of like they had during wartime. Going from minimal rations to fully stocked grocery stores must have been a pleasant shock. 

In conclusion, the government encouraging economic growth helped the baby boom, boom! The baby boom along with new people coming into, or returning to Canada led to the Canadian quality of life improving. Medicare and other social programs showed Canadians they mattered. This allowed for Canadians to develop a sense of self and a national identity.

In conclusion, Canadian life changed a lot after the war. In discovering this, I created some work that I was quite proud of and learned a lot. I hope you enjoyed today’s post and make sure to check in two weeks to see how our final exhibition went!

Happy Birthday Mr. President

Ello luv. Welcome back to another post. This week, I’d like to talk about one of my favourite people. Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe. She has truly been an icon throughout the years, but especially in the 1950s. Marilyn was a sex symbol throughout the 50s and was praised for her beauty. She also had a delightful mind which was often overlooked.

The beauty standards of the time were much different to now, and also much different to pre war. I took some notes on the beauty standard phenomenon during class this week and I found them to be remarkably interesting. It was from a CBC article from the late 1940s and I’ll link it down below. 

While she was a stunning woman, many of her critics said she only looked good because of her expensive clothing and jewellery. To prove them wrong, she did a photo shoot in a potato sack dress.

This much mirrored the trend in the 1920s, during the Great Depression, of women creating dresses out of patterned feed bags.

I love Marilyn and her attitude to critics, and I think the 50s was a very interesting time that brought with it lots of change. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’ll see you next week!