Quick spoiler warning. I’m going to be going into detail about the Chaos Walking series, with spoilers. So, if you haven’t read the books, and intend to, maybe don’t read this.
Over the, well the weekend, I read the entire Chaos Walking trilogy. Amazing series, BTW. Definitely would recommend. It is also very much intertwined in what we are learning right now, so thats super fun.
The premise of the second and third novels are primarily what I am going to focus on, but I’ll touch on the first book as well. These two are the ones that directly deal with the idea of terrorism, and a sort of civil war in this world. There are a lot of parallels between the terrorism we’ve been learning about, and they ways that the characters in the books go about terrorism, which is pretty cool.
I am not sure if you could call what happened in the first book terrorism. They definitely use fear, and have a political goal, and since there is no media, they use word of mouth. I am still hesitant to call it terrorism. I am, of course, referencing the people of Prentisstown, and the ‘army’ they have. In actuality, they are only a few hundred men, but the threat of violence is enough for the people of New Haven to give up their power, as well as cause most of the rest of the population of their planet to flee their homes to New Haven, which was obviously not a great idea. Their ‘army’ did kill people, but not exactly terrorism. I still think it’s important to mention, because it sets up the rest of the story.
The second book is really where we get into the idea of terrorism, and people are directly called terrorists. As the old mayor takes control of New Haven, there are obviously people who don’t support them. Specifically, a lot of the women do not support many of his actions. There is more in the actual book that explains this deeper, so go read that. Anyways, this group of women slowly leave the town, and set up camp. This would be fine if it weren’t for the two people in charge.
On one hand, we have the Mayor. He has like, mind powers, and lots of weapons in the town. He also was part of the group that killed all the women from their old town, which makes him pretty scary. Him and his army occupy the town.
On the other hand, we have Mistress Coyle. She was part of a fighting faction in their old war, and has a lot of power and influence. She is also a healer, but not a doctor. There is a lot of sexism and a strong gender divide in this book, which is important. Sucky, but important. She wants to liberate the town from the Mayor, and will do anything to reach her goals. Her group is called the Answer.
Mistress Coyle, and the Answer, are who we’d call the terrorists in this scenario. The word terrorist is specifically used to describe their group, so I don’t feel bad about using it. The Answer is kinda seen as the good guys, but it is not as black and white as that. The book does a really good job of showing that neither side are good guys, and they both do really bad stuff.
The Answer’s main terrorist thing is their bombings. They have suicide bombers, as well as planted bombs in civilian-occupied areas. They bomb storefronts, symbols, and all the in-between. The Mayor uses that to demonize them, and to gain more support for going after them.
In the last book, it gets a bot more complicated. Theres a whole other army of aliens, who don’t like humans, and they have battles and stuff. It’s not super important. What I think is important is how it ends for both of the leaders.
They both die.
Of their own terms.
They believe in their goals so much that they are willing to die for their cause. The Mayor less so, but still.
I think these books are a really good example of terrorism, and how there are no heroes when you’re killing civilians.
Five weeks is a very short amount of time. It is also an eternity. Welcome to the post on why men suck.
For the past five weeks, we have been studying one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, The Taming of the Shrew (TOTS). We have been looking at it through the lens of women, feminism in a sense. We read the play, and studied the feminist movement throughout the ages.
Throughout the project, we were also completing weekly reflection posts on what we were learning. These posts were fun to do, because we got chances to reflect on what we were learning. These posts, including Sluts and Women and Tigers, Oh My!, What Am I, a Maid?, and Subtext muchwere a chance to record the process during the process. A lot of what we learned were in these posts, so by all means check them out.
There were three sides to the project; essays, history, and TOTS. The project went in circles between these three, and were a ton of fun to connect!
Lets talk first about the essays, because why not. We were reading a bunch of essays and texts that showed examples of women in history, and we had to answer a bunch of questions on them. At the time, it seemed real annoying and a waste of time. Actually, though, it was really beneficial for the last leg of this project which we’ll get to later. They helped me learn about the structure of an essay, and how different people have different styles for writing essays. It was really interesting to see how people used evidence, broke things up in certain ways, all that jazz. They also served as fantastic proof for that final product.
Now, history. Mostly, we looked at the 20th century. Starting with the suffragette movement, which was the first wave of feminism, we moved through time to see how things changed, and didn’t change, for women.
We had one milestone specifically focused on the history. We were split into groups and assigned a decade to research and present. Now, due to some circumstances, I wasn’t actually at the presentations. That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. I did a considerable amount of research on the topic, which was quite insightful.
My biggest takeaway from that was one of the research points about women and appearance.
The 70’s were the beginning of the natural makeup idea. Women could still wear makeup, but couldn’t look ‘whorish’ by wearing too much makeup. They had to be slim, and natural looking. It wasn’t just men that pushed this appearance, either, which is sad. its upsetting to think about the expectations for the ideal woman, and how much of that is just their looks.
That would bring us to The Taming of the Shrew. As far as Shakespeare goes, it was well written of course, but kinda rapey. Petruchio is the perfect example of one of those creepy men in todays media that doesn’t listen when someone says no. Looking back now, that’s probably the inspiration for some of those pieces of media. Anyways. It is the perfect form of media to look at when inspecting women throughout history. It portrays exactly the ideal woman, and how to make a shrew that perfect woman. It makes me want to throw up.
Now, I mentioned that final product before. And honestly, you may have figured it out. Regardless, here is the big reveal. We were writing an essay about the continuity and change of women throughout the 20th century, more or less. We used the knowledge from reading all those essays and text, to be able to create the perfect essay. And I say the perfect essay because I have done at least 10 revisions and it is finally approved. Of course I love the challenge, but I liked the first one. Its always good to have feedback though, and I am happy with what I am learning.
One thing that I have struggled with in the past is my conclusions. I always felt that they were weird and rambley. Well, I think a lot of my writing is weird and rambley. Anyways, apparently this was good. I mean, you can take a look at my final essay and see for yourself.
I learned a lot during the course of this project. Of course I am used to feedback, but with the new grading system I am really getting into the grove of things. I learned that what I think is great can always be improved. There is always more to add. It also taught me to really look at the media I consume, and make sure its not super rapey.
What do you really know about the place you grew up? What stories lay hidden in these small communities? How can we tell people more about them? Thats really what this project was about. We, as historians, were to research our little community of Deep Cove, and see what stories we uncovered.
For this project, we were trying to create a walking tour of Deep Cove, with different physical markers to lead to further learning. What we didn’t realize was that a Deep Cove walking tour already existed. The Deep Cove Heritage Society produced one a couple years ago. So, in true PLP manner, we contacted the DCHS and were gonna help them create a new walking tour!
The first hurtle we had was choosing our locations. We wanted to keep many of the stops that the original pamphlet had, and add new ones. We had to come up with a pitch for our locations, and Ms. Maxwell would choose for us out of the ones we pitched. My location was a new one, the Government Dock in the cove. It may seem like an odd place, but there was a story I had in mind.
I didn’t grow up in Vancouver, let alone in Deep Cove, but my grandpa did. I asked him at the beginning of the project if, when he was a kid, he ever visited Deep Cove. And I got gold. He told me this amazing story of a trip he went on to Deep Cove that launched my entire project. My grandpa is an amazing storyteller, and it was amazing talking to him.
His story led me to research about the Deep Cove Regattas. And while I couldn’t find loads of info about them, I did learn a few really key ideas. For one, canoe jousting is a thing. Also, the DCHS has a bunch of original video footage from the regattas which I would love to get my hands on. Unfortunately, due to timing issues, that wasn’t possible. But hey, at least we know they exist.
Now, on to the actual product we were creating. Based on our audience, we thought it best two create 2 tours. They are the same, but on different platforms. One was the Google Map.
The other, which I worked on, was the physical pamphlet. We wanted the tour to be accessible for people without wifi or data. The pamphlet was not easy, though. I, for whatever reason, got to be the Lead Curator. And while I do have some experience leading group projects, doesn’t mean its easy.
Lead Curator was not so much a specific task, but more of a facilitating role. I helped out different groups and people inside our team. For example, when the map design team was planning out the route, I helped them figure some things out. Other jobs included checking everyones progress, helping to communicate with the Google Map team, and doing citations.
Each location had to have a short narrative and a digital enhancement, which was another fun part. Because of the small spacing on the pamphlet, we had to shorten all of our research into less that 100 words. Our long and suffering editors worked really hard, and finally did it.
Since the beginning of Deep Cove, the waterfront has been a key part of what brings people to the area. In the 1930’s, it played a key part in bringing tourism, with the Deep Cove Regattas held in the summer time. Competitions were held during the festival, including diving, boat racing and canoe jousting. Today, the spirit of the regattas is reflected in events like the penguin plunge, an annual community event. For both tourists and locals alike, the waterfront is a key part of what makes Deep Cove special.
The digital enhancement, however, was all on our own. I had originally wanted to create a video with the footage from the actual regattas, but like I said before, that wasn’t possible. So I decided to record my grandpa’s story, which turned out fantastically! I love my grandpa, and this was just amazing.
Now on to our favourite part of the blog post, reflection on competencies. This project had three competencies; Take Historical Perspective, Writing and Designing Text, and Using Resources. I did kinda touch on the competencies in the body of the post, but I’ll go into further depth here.
Now, taking historical perspective was something that wasn’t necessarily easy. We were trying to have multiple perspectives in our short narrative, but fitting that into under 100 words was a bit tricky. This was definitely something I struggled with. But then I got it! Tourists and locals. For tourists, the gov dock is a hot spot, somewhere you can take your Honeys Donut to eat. The regattas played a huge part in tourism as well. Before these events, many Vancouverites would visit the Wigwam Inn for summer fun. Once the regattas got started, the community became a hub for tourism. These regattas, and the corresponding tourism, was huge for the people who lived in the area. Businesses then and now need tourism to function. The regattas, as well as other events held on the water, helped build community spirit in the area.
As I mentioned before, we had to create real short narratives for the pamphlet. This is where the writing and designing competency comes in. We had to take the really relevant information from our research and make it small. But its not just words. We had to tell the story of our location in this passage. It was difficult to actually realize what the relevant information was, but I think in the end it turned out okay.
Using resources was a bit more straight forward. We had to find info from a variety of sources, and I did my best to do just that. Books like Echoes Across the Inlet and Echoes Across Seymour were a really big help. I can’t say that I use books for research a lot, and it was refreshing. I also got info from an audio recording of a Deep Cove bus tour, which, man, was quite interesting. Of course the Deep Cove Heritage Society archive was a big help too. Once we had all the info, we had to cite. There was a bunch of unnecessary turmoil to do with that, but in the end we got them all in a document.
This was a really fun project overall. Learning about our community is super fun. And golly-gee, all I want to do now is canoe joust.
Morning folks, and welcome to my final year of blog posts. It is indeed my last year of high school, and truly an end of an era. So cherish it while it lasts, but boy will you have a lot to cherish. This year, one thing that we’ve been ‘asked’ to do is write a weekly reflection blog post. There are many factors making this year odd, (cough covid cough), but this one is sure to be something to be remembered. So let’s start of the year right and talk about sluts!
Context. Okay, so in this project, not that we’ve actually been given lots of information, we’ve been focusing on two topics, which I’ll talk about in this post, the first being the changing role of women, I think. Not super clear but let’s go with it.
We started off by watching a couple videos from different time periods where they used the word slut. We were supposed to be understanding how the word has changed overtime, though in the videos the word was used in different ways. We had an assignment were we looked at the videos which can explain them more.
In the first example the word slut is used, though in a comical way, as a sort of attack against the women in the argument, as well as the person of who pm they were talking about. ‘Jane you ignorant slut’ is an attack, not a joke. It is also said by a man on public television, which has definitely changed. In the Golden Girls episode, several years after the SNL skit, the word slut is used in a more comical light, and is recognized as such by all the characters. The characters kind of laugh at it, like a joke between friends. The key difference in the golden girls scene, though, is that it is said by a woman. This kind of changes the connotation. Still, in both the first and second examples, it is said as a joke and recognized by the audience as such. The third clip from Sex and the City takes a more philosophical look at the word. Carrie looks at it from a serious standpoint, like is she actually a slut. In the context that she seemed to take it, she looked at the word from a negative standpoint. Today, posing that word in any sort of context on TV would be a much more serious thing. It would really only be used if a woman was taking back the word, or if the character was already looked at in a negative light. The point is, overtime the word and is use has changed quite a bit, and it’s definitely not looked at as it once was.
In all honesty, I am not a fan of that word. At all. I know some people are trying to reclaim it, similar to the way the LGBTQ+ community retook the word queer. It just seems so judgemental. It places an assumption upon women that creates a double standard between female identifying people and male identifying people. Men are expected to have many partners, while when women do it they are called derogatory terms like slut. Times may have changed, but this idea still exists.
Another thing we talked about in the discussion was how it was different when a woman called another woman a slut. Sure it’s different, but it still stings. In the show Grand Army, based on a play called Slut: The Play, girls still call each other sluts, in a bad way. They act a certain way, so they must be sluts. It really sucks that we still think this way.
On a lighter note, the second thing we were focusing on this week was vocabulary. Yay.
Remember those spelling packages you would get in elementary school, where you would study a bunch of words, do activities with them, and then have a spelling test on them? Well, this was basically that, sans the test. We were learning some, not new, but very interesting words. Words like imperious, and fervent.
I fully thought these were random words. Turns out, sometimes things have rhyme and reason. These words were then used in a passage we had to thematically analyze. Just gonna say solidly that that was a weird passage. Would you have your lover eaten by a tiger or marry another woman?
Good morning. It’s not the morning when I’m writing this, but that’s not the point. Anyways, yes, right, the post. Over the past few months, starting in January I think, we’ve been reading Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It is a very interesting play within itself, and has many interesting themes. The one we studied was the idea of appearance vs. reality. This, through some unknown channel, was connected to our social studies timeline, and so we were basically studying the 1950’s, as well as a Scottish play from the 17th century.
This may seem like an odd connection, but there really are quite a few connections you could draw. That was one of our assignments, actually. We had to write blog posts connecting Macbeth and the 1950’s. It was definitely hard to start, but by the end of these posts, I think I had really done some good work.
Another big part of the unit were what we called ‘Act Quests’. Basically, while reading the play, we would have these test-like things where we would be given quotes from Macbeth, and have to: recount the events that took place before, during and after the quote, identify who said it and why it was important to the character and those it was said to, and how it relates to theme. These were definitely not easy. In PLP, we don’t have a lot of tests, which is why sometimes things like this can catch us off guard. We did do something similar to this in the LOTF project, but to a much lesser degree. Its definitely important to do things like this, to prepare for university and stuff, but it’s still not my favourite. I guess my biggest issue was putting too much information down, which makes sense, because I do tend to do info dumps. But overall, I think it was a really good practice in an area we sometimes don’t spend tons of time in.
Now, you might be thinking, well, these are only small parts of the project, they can’t be the final product. And believe me buddy, you’d be right. Also, if you’re familiar with past PLP Macbeth projects, you’ll know that there have been attempts at a class film adaptation of Macbeth. Notice how I say attempt. This has never worked. So of course we had to do exactly that. But it’s never that simple. We also had to set the movie in the 1950’s, and change it so it fits in that year. Goodie.
One of the things we stated with was trying to figure out a story outline. Everyone would try and come up with an idea on how we could set it in the 50’s. At first, we had grandiose ideas, like having it set in a mayors office, or during a presidential race. But we had to rethink, because we were going to be the ones acting, and we are children. I mean the in the nicest way possible, but nonetheless it’s true. We’re also not that great actors, but thats another issue altogether. We ended up going with a private school with a secret society.
Now came the really difficult part: deciding roles. This can either be a very big deal, or a very small deal. To us, it was big. I wasn’t sure what I should do, because although the whole class was working together, a group called the key creatives were mostly in charge of the movie. The key creatives were the people who everyone reported to, and were responsible more or less for the success. all the roles were similar to what would be on an actual movie set. The key creatives were the producer, who was head of everything, the director, who had the vision for the film, and the screenwriter, who, with a team, would write the film. We did add a fourth key creative, production manager, which was similar to producer, but in more of a day to day sense. I decided to apply for the producer, because though it is a lot of responsibility, I thought I could do a good job leading our class to success. Also, I had a vision on what the film could look like, and as a key creative I thought I could help with that part.
Applying for the positions was pretty stressful. First, we had to go home and write a pitch for what roles we wanted. After that, everyone who had applied to be a key creative had to, in class, write out their vision for what the film would look like. And… I got it! I was chosen to be the producer. But that’s not the be all and end all. Off the bat, I was told that I could be fired at anytime. I knew this beforehand, but that really put the pressure on. Not that I thought I’d do a bad job, but its kinda scary. The rest of the team was Giorgia as director, Jesse as screenwriter, and Luca J as production manager. A pretty solid team.
The next part was not fun. Being a key creative was difficult, but way more than I thought it would be. We had a very tight schedule as well, because we were supposed to have it done before spring break and we got our roles like, 2 and a half weeks before then. We had to cast, get costumes, props, write the script, and film in that small window. There were some fun parts, though. We had to find 50’s lingo for the script, which was fun, and reading around the tables was cool. There was a bit of drama around casting, and key creatives spent a lot of time outside of school trying to figure things out, but once we had the prep out of the way, we were more or less set to film.
That’s when things started to fall apart a bit. The teachers left for Vietnam with the grade 12s, so we were left completely on our own. But it was fine. We had a solid film schedule, and we were going to be fine. Everything was blocked in, and the first filming day went smoothly, mostly. I did end up having to be in the movie and sprained my ankle in the process, but we were adapting as things were thrown at us. Even when our Macbeth had to reschedule a shoot because he wasn’t feeling well, it was fine. We adjusted, and filmed everything we could without him. Except, he was still sick the next day. And when we thought he was getting better, and had everything set, he was sick again and wasn’t sure wether or not to come. The key creatives discussed, and said we needed to keep everyone safe and so we cancelled. This was a difficult decision, but it was for the best. We had got all we could without our main character, and everyone had worked so hard.
Then spring break hit, and we were working with what we had. The post production crew did a great job with what they had, and we planned to film the rest after the break. But, as you might have guessed, the break never ended. Well, it did, but you know what I mean. School was cancelled, and we were forced to accept what we had. It was really though to face. Being the head of a big project like this was a really amazing learning experience for me, and to see all that work not pan out was really sucky. Everyone tried their hardest, and though there were some hiccups, if it hadn’t been for the sickness of Macbeth, I think we would have pulled it off. Its dissapeointng, but I know how hard everyone worked, and the experience within itself was pretty cool.
I do have a theory on why it didn’t work, though. A dumb, superstitious theory, but still. So, when actors are putting on the play of Macbeth, they call it the Scottish Play. There are documented cases of when people didn’t do this, and then actors got sick or hurt. I just find it kinda fishy how it was Macbeth who got sick, and no one else. But that’s just the raving of some student. Who really knows?
Star Wars is a huge franchise. With over 10 movies, multiple television series, and more merch than anyone can comprehend, Star Wars is a huge part of pop culture today. To make something like these movies, it you create another universe, full with food, culture, and religion. For this year’s winter exhibition, we pulled upon this amazing world to create a Star Wars Exhibition!
Now, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, or PLP in general, you will note that this is the second time our class has done a Star Wars exhibition. Being that as it was, we couldn’t just do the same project again. Also, in the past we have done the Star Wars exhibition in our Maker class. This year however, we do not have that class, and so we had to connect Star Wars to something we would learn about in regular class. And so our teachers did.
How can we use poetry to reflect our perspectives on people, places, issues, and beliefs?
Yay, poetry. Poetry, but with a historical context.
In the 1950’s, a wave of disgruntled writers started a movement we now know as Beat Poetry. They used their experiences, being put down by the world, the after effects of World War 2, and many others as inspiration for their work. It was performed in poetry clubs, often accompanied by jazz. This is where we found our connection to Star Wars.
The ambiance of the Catina on Tatooine was similar to that of a poetry club in the 1950’s, and so our project was formed. On the night of the exhibition, we were to create the Cantina and present poetry! But to do this properly, we first had to learn more about Beat Poetry, and the Beat Poets themselves.
For this part, we were each assigned a beat poet to research. I was assigned ruth weiss. Her story is extremely influenced by the Second World War, and she continues to inspire us today. You can read more about her in the document I’ve attached.
The next big part of the project was writing the poetry. We had to learn about different poetic devices. This was not the first time we did this, we had a poetry unit a few years ago. This project was more free form, and we went deeper into a specific form of poetry. Beat poetry is often free form poetry, without rhyme or structure.
It was really cool to have this freedom within writing our poems. Our only limitations was our driving question, How can we use poetry to reflect our perspectives on people, places, issues, and beliefs? Writing poetry in this way was honesty kinda fun. One thing I friend to keep with the vibe of beat poetry was a little bit of aggression. Many of my poems were argumentative, challenging the social norms and such.
Now comes to the Star Wars bit. For the smoothest operation of this, we were divided into groups. I was in food and beverage. The idea of dividing us into groups was a really smart idea, I think. It made sure we all did our part, and that no department got forgotten about. Food and beverage was actually super fun. Our group was Jesse, Maggie and I, so we worked really well together.
The food we made was really good, and took a lot of time, with regards to research, and the actual making of the food. We wanted to make the food authentic, so we did quite a bit of research about food on Tatooine. We had Ahrisa, which were small multigrain bread rolls we made, hubba gourd, which was cut-up cantaloupe, and dustcrepes, which were spanakopita rolls that again we made. Finding the recipes and making the food took a considerable amount of time, but it was really worth it.
On the night of the exhibition, Jesse, Maggie and I were working behind the bar. Setting up the bar took a considerable amount of time, but in the end we were able to actually have people order drinks from the bar and serve them. All the drinks we served, while non-alcoholic, were based on ones from Tatooine. We had a bit of an issue with ice, but other than that, it went really well.
One of the cool parts about doing a Star Wars exhibition is the day after. Once we have put all this intense effort into this project, we get to go see the new Star Wars movie, in this case The Rise of Star Wars. It was a really fun time, and it was very rewarding to see finally what we were working towards. PLP is such an amazing program, and I don’t think there’s anything quite like it!
Now finally to the nitty gritty stuff; assessment. For this project, we were focusing on two curricular competencies.
Historical Perspective: Explain and infer different perspectives on past or present people, places, issues, or events by considering prevailing norms, values, world views, and beliefs.
Create: What literacy skills am I using to write, speak, and represent in the texts I create?
I did touch on these a bit in the post, but I’ll discuss them a bit more here. With regards to the historical perspectives competency, when looking into the 1950’s, we had to do just this. The beatniks had first hand experiences in this world, and we learned about it through them. To get another perspective on this idea, I also talked to my grandpa, who was in his 20’s during the 50’s. It was an interesting perspective to look at, the Canadian perspective.
For the creating competency, we had to learn a lot about poetry, and literary devices in creating the poetry. Things like allusions and cacophonies helped our poems come to life, and I learned how language impacts us in all sorts of ways.
This project was very informative. I had a very fun time baking, some of which I had never done before. This was probably one on my favourite exhibitions! I also learned a lot about communication, with other groups and my own. Also communicating to an audience. It was definitely a time!
Leadership is tricky. Power is a balance. And every human is capable of ‘sharpening a stick on both ends’. Welcome to Lord of the Flies.
For this project, we had to read, you might have guessed, Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This book, though old, relates on a very deep level to our society, and how pretty much tribalism runs our society. Now, tribe is a kind of loaded word. You may be thinking of ancient man, but the actual definition of a tribe is “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.” So you can see how this definition of a tribe can actually apply to our society. The driving question for this project is actually
What is the Role of Tribalism in Society?
Before we get to that, I’m going to talk about, well, the book.
THIS PORTION OF THE POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ LORD OF THE FLIES, SKIP OVER THE BOOK SECTION.
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was written to sort of make a point. He is quoted as saying “Wouldn’t it be a good idea if I wrote a book about children on an island, children who behave in the way children really would behave?”. This quote is directly attacking R. M. Ballantyne’sThe Coral Island. In this book three English boys, Jack, Ralph and Peterkin, are the only survivors of a shipwreck. In the book, they quickly decide on Jack as the leader, and have many great adventures with inhabitants of the surrounding islands and themselves.
Golding didn’t think that was realistic. He wrote the Lord of the Flies to show how, when unbounded by the rules of society, people will resort to savagery. In the book, it was boys who lost society, but the idea applies to all humans. He just used children because they would lose their civility sooner.
Without civilization, humans resort to savagery.
All power needs to be balanced by a shared responsibility.
Innocent people have the ability to become evil when removed from civilization.
When no longer bound by the confines of societal consequences, humans feel free to act upon their initial instincts and detach themselves from civil society.
In the absence of societal structure, humans fall back on their violent and destructive nature. A primordial instinct is released.
The book is full of symbolism. Each of the boys represent a different part of society, and the different styles of leadership. One of my favourite pieces of symbolism in the book is that of the fire. The fire, the thing Ralph clings to for most of the book, represents their ties to society, their ties to civilization. At the beginning of the book, the ties are still there, and the fire burns well. The first time the fire goes out, when they killed their first pig, they lost a part of themselves. They killed a living thing, and that took something from them. As the book goes on, the fires continue to die, until at last, there is no society left. The final fire, the one that ravages the island, has no ties to civilization. It is just destruction, chaos, and everything the boys become.
The book was very interesting. Honestly, the ending was more traumatizing than I thought it would be. There was so much more death than I thought. Also, Rodger is a total psycho. I can forgive him for the Piggy thing, but wanted to behead Ralph and mount his head on a stick is a totally different issue. Children are psycho.
As I mentioned before, the project was on tribalism, like the tribes in Lord of the Flies. Tribes run our society, groups of people brought together by common ideals. In this project, we were studying some of these tribes. Some examples of these are self help groups, gangs, fan bases, but the tribe our group decided to study was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police!
The RCMP is a very interesting tribe, and a vital one in our society. They have a recognized leader, common values, and have a great sense of pride in their identity. We were actually able to interview a retired RCMP officer, Mr. Bob Bell.
Emily- What is the identity of the RCMP? What is their image, their values, what are they trying to preserve?
Mr. Bell- The RCMP has a proud history. Formed in 1873 by the government of PM John A McDonald as the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) the objective was to protect the huge empty territory between the new provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia. There had been a massacre at Cypress Hills there was fear of US military intervention, violence against the indigenous people by whisky traders. 300 NWMP officers marched west on July 8th 1874 to protect all of those issues which they did very quickly. The NWMP became the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) in 1904 and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 1920. When the Headquarters moved from Regina to Ottawa. My last posting before I retired was in Regina and my office was that of the Commissioner of the RNWMP. Cadets are taught and immersed in that proud history, taught those values and taught to preserve the image and values of the proud history of the RCMP.
Emily- How do you think having an identity benefits the RCMP (perhaps focuses missions, gives the public role models, etc.)?
Mr. Bell- The RCMP have a world wide reputation. The iconoclastic uniform is known everywhere. With Liaison Officers at embassies around the globe the RCMP Foreign Service have contacts with police officers and investigative agencies, for two examples, the FBI in the USA and the Australian Federal Police in Australia. ( I was a liaison officer in London, England and Washington DC at different times in my career. ) So the identity of the RCMP and its members gives the public a role model in towns and villages across Canada as well as helping the RCMP in their mission worldwide.
Logan- How would you des ride the community inside the police force?
Mr. Bell- All cadet training is carried out at the RCMP Training Academy, Depot Division at Regina, Saskatchewan. Every cadet must live in the barracks. Even if your home is in Regina you have to live in. Troops are formed 32 at a time. Cadets come from every corner of Canada and the course lasts for six months. So in terms of group dynamics, each cadet troop forms an identity, comradeship, an esprit de corps and friendships which last a lifetime. I graduated more than sixty years ago and I am still in touch with troop members although the numbers get less every year. Every year there are Troop Reunions, often held at the Training Academy, fifty, forty thirty years, after graduation they get together to swop stories and compare notes about their careers. For those who have retired from the RCMP there is the RCMP Veteran’s Association across Canada one in Victoria and another further north on the Island. So that tells you about the community inside the RCMP. I ended my career as the Commanding Officer of the Training Academy and Depot Division in Regina.
Alivia- Why did you join the RCMP? Did you always know that you wanted to be a RCMP officer?
Mr. Bell- I always had an interest in police work. I was bored with my office job as a cost accountant, living in Toronto, looked into joining the RCMP and had no interest in the Toronto City Police, I wanted adventure and thought that the RCMP would be more adventurous by sending me somewhere across Canada. Got that right as the cadet from Toronto was sent to Prince Rupert as my first posting.
Our final product for this was a keynote presentation to the class. My group, which you may have been able to discern, was Logan, Emily and I. It was a very interesting group to work with, seeing as we are all leaders in our own way. But it was a successful though interesting ride, and I think our final presentation reflects that.
Overall, I think we done good. Though it was difficult at first, finding deeper messages within the text really helped me understand the book, and it’s ties to our world. I also learned a lot about the writing process. We had a lot of writing in this project, including a literary analysis test and journals, and all that writing really helps. Sometimes in projects we don’t do a lot of writing, other than the blog posts, but in this project we were able to practice our writing skills. Also, I had a lot of practice doing MLA’s, because I did all of ours for the project. I enjoyed this project because I was able to improve some of my skills that aren’t often used!