Category: Humanities

I Hope This Doesn’t Get Me Killed

This week in class, we have been breaking down the who, what, where, and why’s surrounding the topic of new religious movements. New religious movements are more commonly known as “cults,” however, it is more appropriate to call them a new religious movement when academically analyzing them, which is what I’ll be doing today.

An example of a TV show about a NRM

At first, I thought this topic seemed a little odd to study in class as I consider NRM (new religious movement) more of an outside-of-school subject. I’ve always thought of them as a topic in the realm of true crime, never as something to learn in school. Throughout a few classes, I realized that NRMs are not just this scary unknown concept I watch Netflix series about—they are something that exposes fascinating human behaviour (on both sides, the members of the NRM and the leaders of it). While some NRMs may look too crazy and theatrical to be something of substance to study, analyzing them provides a lens of understanding human nature. Coincidentally, that lens of understanding applies to every topic we have studied this quarter as every catastrophe can be traced back to the question of “why do humans _______?”

Examples of NRMs

In class, we have mainly discussed NRMs that no longer exist. For example, the Peoples Temple, Children of God, and NXIVM. There is a wide variety of reasons why a NRM may no longer exist—harmful media exposure, legal reasons, murder/suicide, members losing faith in their leader, and much more. While non-active NRMs are important to analyze, I believe studying ones that exist in our current day is just as valuable, and that is why this post will be about the one and only, Church of Scientology.

The LA Scientology building

Scientology is a unique example of a NRM as it went from a radical ‘cult’ to a certified religion in countries like America, Italy, and South Africa. In 1957, 3 years after Scientology was established, the IRS legitimized Scientology as a religion by granting them tax exemption for “religious purposes”. While this exemption was battled in 1967, Scientology’s in America has been officially tax-exempt since the ’90s. This decision sustained the uprising of “America’s only new religion of the 20th century”, Scientology.

I would love to explain all of Scientology to you lovely readers, but this blog would be a 50 part series if I attempted that. I genuinely have never encountered a more complex topic to research and write about. Scientology is the most confusing, intense, and mysterious topic I have read about, and unless I join it myself, I will not truly understand it. The only information on this NRM is either from the Church’s website or ex-members, as current members aren’t generally allowed to speak of it. There is no defined truth, and because of that, Scientology is a damn mystery.

News coverage on Scientology in the past

Thanks to our lack of knowing what precisely goes on in Scientology, the only reliable information we have is history, so let’s look at it! Scientology was established in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard, a famous science fiction writer. No one truly knows how many members of Scientology there are, but according to worldwide counts, there are a few hundred thousand. That amount is strange as the Church of Scientology claims to gain 4.4 million new members per year.

Scientology’s core beliefs derive from Hubbard’s 1950 book titled “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health”. This book revealed to readers that they could gain “psychological enlightenment” through his concept of “mental auditing’. “The Modern Science of Mental Health” was the almost sort of scripture/bible for Hubbard’s new religious movement, Scientology. So yes, a well-known science fiction writer started a new “religion” based on a book he wrote.

Hubbard’s Book

Some more general beliefs of Scientology include that humans are immortal, peoples live more than one life, and that we possess infinite capabilities. According to Hubbard, each human has a “reactive mind that responds to life’s traumas, clouding the analytic mind and keeping us from experiencing reality”. Scientologists do not believe in mental illnesses due to that belief. All of this stems from Hubbards‘ great secret doctrine behind Scientology‘, which he said came to him when he closed his eyes. It would take me a few pages to explain this doctrine, so instead, I will show you a video. Yes, this is a clip from South Park, but through all of my research, it is very accurate to what we know of Hubbard’s doctrine, even though it is on a comedic show.

I know the explanation looks super science fiction-y and odd, and that is because it is. Remember, a well-known science fiction author wrote it.

Their belief system is about one out of hundreds of the aspects of Scientology. There is how Scientology implements these beliefs, how they recruit people, the way they live, and so much more. Here is a little video to get some more general context if you are interested.

So, if you are an open-minded person not too aware of Scientology, you may be wondering, “Luca, it’s just a religion. It may seem crazy, but people are allowed to believe what they believe…” While that is valid, I and many others would respond that it is not and never has been a religion; it is a NRM, aka a “cult.” The distinction between a religion and a NRM can be found within the amount of control the religion and its leader have over its members and how they use that control. What I mean by control is any action beyond the individual following the religion’s beliefs. Meaning, if faith becomes more than something you believe in and more something to pay for and or feel trapped in, it starts entering the territory of it being more than just a religion, a cult (NRM).

Christianity vs Scientology can express the significant contrasts between a religion and a NRM.

A Christan Church

Christianity does not require your money in order to grow your faith or try to ruin your life if you no longer believe in the religion. Christianity does not restrict anyone from critiquing it or talking negatively about it with non-Christians or fellow Christians. Scientology, however, does all of these. I am all for people bettering themselves and finding something to believe in that gives them hope—what I’m not okay with is a religion exploiting that eagerness to improve. The use of money makes this ‘religion’ seem more like a business… This thought is not just my own— while yes, some countries like the US and Italy recognize Scientology as a religion, others like Canada and Germany do not. Germany even tried banning it from their country as they believed it was a business enterprise.

People go into Scientology wanting to better themselves; the website and building locations all have propaganda about being the best you, fixing the issues in your life. In reality, all it does is take your money (I’m talking hundreds of thousands $$) and trap you in their NRM. Sorry but… what religion requires hundreds of thousands of dollars? Scientology requiring money to join and learn is the main reason why Scientology fits the definition of a NRM.

A questionnaire on their website

It’s easy to say you wouldn’t fall into a manipulative NRM but as we know, saying is easier than doing. I spent 5 minutes on the Scientology website, and If I was someone with no prior knowledge of the Church, I see no apparent reason that would cause suspicion or disinterest in the Church. Take a look here yourself; they tell you they can help you with stress, anxiety, work, drug abuse, love, literally everything ordinary people struggle with. “The Way to Happiness,” “Drug-free Free World,” and “Mental Health Reform” are all things the website says that the Church of Scientology provides for its members.

A screenshot of their website

Along with their website/advertising being scarily attractive, they have the support of many celebrities. That may seem irrelevant, but when someone like Tom Cruise, one of the most famous actors of all time, advocates for something, of course, many people are going to listen. So many big names in Hollywood support Scientology—this means that Scientology has a grasp over their celebrity member’s fans because they trust these actors as they may think, “ah well, if my favourite actor is in Scientology, I want to be in Scientology!” The fact they have celebrities in their Church means they also just gain society’s general trust. For some reason, everyone acts like celebrities are these godlike, smart people who know best, when in reality, they are people just as susceptible to NRM as everyone else. Luckily, this mindset is diminishing more and more as celebrity ex-members speak out on the dark side of Scientology (for example, Leah Remini).

Once one of these tactics of recruiting members works, either the self-help aspect of the Church of acting on the trust of others, step two of the NRM conditioning can begin. “Brainwashing” is what some may call it. Scientology, like many NRMs, makes its new or questioning members go to classes and learn about the Church. Unprotected and interested people are very susceptible to believing anything that is told to them, which is why a lot of NRM start with basic classes. After some classes, they are told they need to begin “auditing” aka counselling sessions with Scientologists.

The therapy called “auditing”
John Travolta in an auditing session

Due to their beliefs that we humans have a “reactive mind that responds to life’s traumas, clouding the analytic mind and keeping us from experiencing reality,” therapy/counselling is a big part of it all. They make you pay a lot of money for these sessions where Scientologists make you expose all your trauma and secrets so you can be ‘clear.’ This clearness is a part of the whole belief system and how humans live many lives. They also record and keep this all, so they can ruin your life with your secrets if you ever try to leave.

Hubbard Himself

That is just 1 out of 1000 of the brutal things they do to these defenceless people seeking to better themselves and help others. There is so much more that happens beyond classes and counselling, and they all highlight now Scientology is not just a religion; it is a cult (NRM). Scientologists aren’t allowed to consume outside media, talk to other Scientologists about the Church, and have to attend a certain amount of Scientology-related class/work/church per day. To put Scientology’s dominance in perspective, there are even whole “cities” like Clearwater in Florida owned and dedicated to Scientology-related people or companies! Scientology is all about levels, and once a member is secured on the beliefs, they will do ANYTHING to reach the next level.

Long withstanding religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are great examples of common traditional religions (a non-NRM). They all consist of a set of beliefs that anyone can follow however intensely they want. There isn’t the aspect of immense control. You don’t have to pay; you are allowed to question the religion, and you have the choice whether you attend Church or any of their religious meetings. They are examples of a religion an individual can follow and still have a normal, healthy, and functioning life without fear or manipulation. Scientology has so much control over its members it basically thinks for them, which is something we don’t see in traditional religions. Critical thinking and freedom are vital for a healthy relationship with religion, and Scientologists lack both, which confirms it is a new religious movement.

I hope anyone who reads this looks more into Scientology as I find it genuinely one of the most fascinating things happening in our current day.

The Cycle

Well, that was a short year! Yes, everyone, I am done with English/Socials 12. Well, I’ve done a whole year’s worth, but I still have another side of it to do in quarter 4. Anyway, this blog post will be about our last project this quarter, and it’s about the best topic ever…. Women! We studied the timeline of women’s rights from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” written in the 1500s to the current day, 2020. We used this driving question to help guide us. 

“How can we use our study of “The Taming of the Shrew” to understand how much yet how little has changed for women?” 

This was my thesis building spot, very messy, like my brain.

Through this project, we have done multiple projects and activities, including… Reading many exemplar essays, analyzing older essays, presenting work, reading Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Watching “10 Things I Hate About You, making women’s rights posters, 3 weekly blog posts linked here, here, and here… and so much more. I mean, this was like half a year of work done and learned in 5 weeks. As well as learning with the goal of answering the driving question, I became better at essay writing! 

Okay, I mentioned essay writing, so I will share this project’s final end with you first. It’s an essay, fun, right? It comprehensively answers the driving question, with evidence that I will dive deeper into in this post. This essay has my literal blood and tears in it. Literally, I got multiple nose bleeds while writing this essay. I’m not sure why. 

My thesis is hopefully clear enough, but if it’s not, it’s “In order to break the cycle of men abusing women either physical, verbal, mental, or sexual, women have to call out the abuse they are experiencing, or the cycle will continue.” I chose this thesis as I’m very passionate about raising awareness about sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. After reading TOTS, my thesis came to me. It is basically how I felt about Kate and how she let Petruchio treat her. TOTS sparked this thesis, and everything we studied after it provided the evidence. So let’s get into it….



70s Poster by Isy H!

 “How has the role of women in society both stayed alike and changed over time?” Was the question to answer for this milestone. This was my favourite milestone and also taught me a base of information that I really needed. I’m a visual learner, so timelines and things along that line are my friends. Ms. Willemse divided our class into groups of 3-4. Each group got to choose out of a decade(s) in the 1900s to 2000s. The options were the 40s/50, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s/2000s. Each group had to create a 10ish minute presentation about their decade, specifically about women. How they were treated, their rights, what they wore, how many women worked, any movements that had happened, etc. This milestone gave me a beneficial base of information before I started the essay. Knowing each decade in-depth helped me identify the continuity and change that I needed to highlight in my essay. It made me able to contrast and compare the changes from “The Taming of the Shrew” to now. 

90s-2000s Poster by Me!!

Although knowing the whole timeline is very helpful, I think my decade(s) was the best to study, which was—the 90s to now. My group’s presentation really influenced why I chose the thesis I did as movements in the 2000s like #MeToo shine light on how terribly women are treated by men with power. Seeing this timeline made me realize the women’s rights fight that’s been happening since the early 1900’s is just taking two steps forward then one step backwards. Sometimes even taking 1 forward and two back. Women were never set up for success by the systems we live in, but they survive and thrive through determination and power. The 90s to 2000s are proof of that. That’s why at least half of my essay is about this time in history. I mention the #MeToo Movement, AOC calling out Representative Yoho, the work rate for women going up, and more. This milestone really inspired the thesis for my essay. 



Okay, a significant portion of my time in this unit went to these two things, so I feel like If I didn’t mention them that this would be incorrect. While milestone 3 really helped me gain a general understanding, which led me to my thesis, common lit and essay analysis’s helped me understand how to write an essay. I feel like I’ve strengthened mentally in the designing texts competency more in the past 5 weeks than I have in the past 2 years. I think it must be because I was so determined to do well, and I was doing anything and everything to get there. The common lits helped teach me how to use evidence just and adequately. They also showed me examples of reliable and well-written essays throughout time.

I was getting awful marks on the analysis portion at first, but I asked for extra ones to redeem myself. The extra ones and the last class ones I did were mostly around the 90% range, whereas my first few were like 15% to 50%, which is a literal failing mark. I improved as time went on, and I could actually see the progress as my marks on common lit were going up. I improved by taking more time for each common lit and highlighting and annotating the text. Also, I made sure to read what the goal of the questions was; it focused on the evidence or voice or perspective, etc.

The exemplar essays were not only helpful because they were about women, but they were also just good examples of essays. Some of the essays provided, like milestone 3, events or facts that helped proved my thesis. The questions that followed the essays really me look at the text in a new way. This led me to think a lot about the designing text competency and how am I supposed to “reflect, assess, and refine texts to improve clarity, effectiveness, and impact for purpose, audience, and message.” These essays helped me understand new ways of writing essays that aren’t just intro, evidence x3 and outro. 



here is a LOVLEY picture of me looking very odd. I took this during break one day in english class.

Okay, I’m trying to keep this blog post under 1000 words, so now that I have discussed what inspired my essay thesis and what helped me write a pretty solid essay…. I’m going to talk a bit about the things I’m proud of and things I want to focus on and work on between now and quarter 4 English/history. I’m very proud of myself for the persistence I had for this essay. I spent probably 5 periods of time around 2-5 Hours long just revising and revising—That’s after the initial 8-hour essay writing session to get the base of it down. Poor Willemse had to read my writing so often (very sorry about that) until we were both happy with it. I was not going to stop editing that essay until I got a rainbow. Next time, something I want to do differently is to step out of my comfort zone in the way I layout my essays. This essay I stuck to a pretty normal and comfy essay layout (which I had to end up changing), making me want to try something totally different next time. I want my voice to be more evident in my writing.

To carry on this photobooth theme, heres a pic of me right now editing this blog.

This project was very intense but also very rewarding. I feel prepared for university. I feel like this project finally made me feel like I am not terrible at writing. Also, I am surprised I am still alive after 5 weeks of solid PLP for 2.5 hours every day. Thanks for reading this and I hope you continue to think about my thesis, as its something all of us need to do. Protect women. 

How the Apple Falls From the Tree

In this past week of class, we looked at some visuals from a children’s book. You may be thinking… wow, Luca, a children’s book, but trust me, you’ll learn something from it. The 4 pages we looked at show some visual examples of some words that I’ve used and that have been thrown around the past few weeks in this women’s right unit. I very much benefitted from this conversation in class, so I want to hand it over to everyone here.


“Unequal access to opportunities.” We see here in this pic that two individuals are standing in this exact same spot (flipped) with the same hand position and same height, yet one is receiving plenty more apples than the other. This is due to the way the tree is flawed. It’s bent to one side making the person on the left have 10 times more apples, resulting in a lack of fairness or justice. Person on the left isn’t working harder, or doing anything different, just the system which their standing under (the tree) seems to favour the person on the left. But why is the tree bent? An example to solidify this idea is the movie “

In example of inequality in the workplace is seen in the movie “Legally Blonde.” While the actual movie is all about girl power and women doing what they want, I read an article linked here which brings up the toxic and unfair treatment in film and tv castings. Reese Witherspoon played the main role, and when at casting she was told “she wasn’t sexy enough.” Why I’m using the example is 1) It shows how the tree is bent in this situation (being in-equal to man as she is expected to dress scandalous for an audition even though the character in the movie dresses quite modestly besides a few scenes.) Witherspoon had to follow the casting directors sexist remarks in order for the tree to bend her way, while in the male roles the tree was already bent there way. They started out on an unequal playing field. 2) In an interview with Witherspoon about this movies casting she says “They thought I was a shrew” which is quite fitting. They thought of her that because she didn’t show up to casting showing all her skin.

This brings up the topic of the MeToo Movement where people with positions of power are  being held accountable for using sexuality as a means of casting and getting what they want from performers. While legally blonde doesn’t have any intense allegations against them, it shows how easy actors do what the people with power want them to do.


“Evenly distributed tools and assistance.” We see here the same two people standing on a ladder getting the apples. While the person on the left is gathering plenty, the person on the right still cannot reach them as the ladder height is accustomed to the person on the left not them. This brings up the topic of “treat everyone the same.” While initially that sounds pretty promising, the more you think about it the more flawed you see it is. Treating everyone the same means you’re assuming that everyone benefits from the same support.

For example: Giving a man and a woman the same treatment does not take into consideration the chance of a women becoming pregnant, birthing the child, and raising the child. If you make the ladders in a situation like men and women the same, women don’t have the same potential to do as well because there needs aren’t being taken into consideration, there ladder isn’t heigh enough. Consider the apples opportunities, women cannot reach them if they are treated the same as a man as women have more pushbacks to deal with, making it unrealistic for the ladder to be the same as the mans.  And see in the image how even if the person on the right could reach the apples, there are still less than the person on the left. This shows even if (in my example) the women is given more help, sometimes there are just less opportunities due to the fact she is a women and has to deal with things like sexism and discrimination.


“Fixing the system to offer equal access to both tools and opportunities.”

We see here both people standing in the same place with the same ladder, both receiving the same amount of apples. But, notice the wood holding up the tree. This is the justice aspect of it, fixing the system which is the tree to no longer discriminate against one group. They are standing there equally being the cause of the inequity was addressed and the systematic barrier of the bent tree was fixed.


“Custom tools that identify and address the inequality.” We see in this last image, the tree is still bent to the left, there are still more apples on the left yet the person on the right is being given a taller ladder than the person on the left.

People may see someone being given more as “unfair” but look, now they are at equal levels. Also notice how there are less apples on the right side compared to the left. I think the fact this image goes back to having less apples on the right side (compared to the previous one “justice”) is because equity treats the individual to the inequality of the situation, where as the apples are plenty on both sides in the justice image as justice “fixes” the system, making it perfect and ideal. In a system where men and women aren’t being paid the same due to the wage gap (aka the mother gap) you can’t really “fix” the situation as women are always going to be the one getting pregnant, but you can get equity by giving that women time off and paid leave. See what I’m getting at? Some situations can’t necessarily have justice as the world works how it wants to work, but we can address it and create custom tools.

Marking History

Hello Readers! This is officially my first project post! Our first project is titled “Marking History.” This project we had a real life client, and had to create a product (multiple actually) for them. So let me explain.

Marking History is a historical perspective based project. Everything we did with this project, had to have more than one historical perspective. This made it so none of our research was biased. We started out this project with assignments like reading the White Paper, and having a Socratic Seminar. Another assignments were the work towards our main project, like a historians oath, and pages and pages of research and sources. But why? What were we working towards?

The Heritage Society is a building location in Deep Cove. It is holds the root and bones of all of Deep Cove’s history. For this project, we worked with them to create 2 products.  A walking tour pamphlet, and a walking tour google map. The Heritage Society already had a existing pamphlet which was wonderful and amazing, but we wanted to make one PLP style. While creating this project we had to keep in mind the driving question.

“How can we as historians uncover and share stories about our community?”

So, as I mentioned their were two products. Ill explain the basis of both products, then go it detail. Everyone in our 11/12 PLP split class had a location on the tour. We got to share our top choices with Ms. Maxwell, then she picked who does what. I think everyone got one of their top picks. Pictured below is my 3 options,

and I ended up with the squatters in North Vancouver. I had prior knowledge about the squatters as probably 5ish years ago, the last squatter home in North Vancouver (in cates park) was removed. It was the bright blue cute cabin, and I never really understood the story of why it was there, so thats why I wanted to focus on squatters for this project.

Luca age 10 at the last standing squatter home in NV.


My group! Haha

Due to COVID-19, our class was split into two groups. I was in “The Wolves” group and we were assigned the pamphlet. All of us had roles, and mine was Map Creator. But, along with that we had to do our individual work. This means researching your topic until you’re literally so knowledgable about it, then forming it into a well written 100 word paragraph. Everyone had to send us pamphlet people their paragraph, historical picture, citations, and map location. This portion of the project made us write and design text using our resources. We had to take sheets of resources, sources, and research and design it into something that deep cove citizens, tourists, and anyone else to enjoy and learn from.

I created the map, which was actually really challenging. I had a task, for a client. It was stressful knowing this project wasn’t just going into showbie, it was going to be an actual product thats printed out for people use. But, I picked that job because I knew I could do it. It took me about 5-6 hours to fully develop a working map, as I had to replicate and detail our walking tour. It had to be pretty, but understandable. It had to be small, but the text had to be big. It had to be colourful enough for the text to not overlap, but it was black and white. There was so many little things I had to focus on.

The map rough draft by Ms. Maxwell, and Final draft made by me.

I’d say besides the lead curators, Daniel and I put together the pamphlet. No one actually had assigned the task of putting the pamphlet together, so it was a mess to figure that out but I sort of stood up and assigned Daniel to do it, as I knew he’d do a great job. He put it together in photoshop, while asking me where everything goes. He did, and heres the final product.


The eagles group were assigned to make the google map. I can’t speak too too much on it as I wasn’t in the group, but I’ll explain it. The google map is the same thing as the pamphlet, but online, and has more info in it. For the google maps group we had to hand in a 150-300 word blurb, a historical photo, a Soundcloud link of us speaking about our location, a digital enhancement, and our citations. To hear more about how it was made, check out the eagles posts. Adlih, Logan, Giorgia, and Emily are great examples. Here is a picture of the map, but press link HERE to fully experience it.

My portion

For my individual part of the google map, there was a lot of work. I had to create a digital enhancement. My digital enchantment included both circular competencies , taking historical perspective and writing and designing text and using resources. I used film “Mudflats Living” by Robert Fresco and Kris Paterson, and took highlights from it to create slides where theres a title, and then a clip from the film. I did this because the film showed multiple historical perspectives like the squatter themselves, the Mayor Ron Andrew, and the Tsleil-Waututh people. I felt it was too valuable of a source to not do anything with. I cut down the movie and made a highlights book as I wanted the person doing the walk to be able to have the movies experience while they are standing in my location, by only watching one or two clips. It worked out better than I had expected. 

(need to ask willemse how it insert a book creator link)


For my first project in class during COVID-19, I think it went pretty well. I pushed myself really hard to do well in this project, and I think it payed off. I really enjoyed the fact this project was a real life product, that people will use. Also, I really enjoyed learning about my home town. Deep Cove is so rich in history and information. I barley knew anything about the place I’ve lived my whole life. My eyes have opened to so much more new info, and it makes my life living here even more interesting. Since this project I’ve found myself pointing out in my head, the walking tour area I’m passing by. Im so aware of the history now, and It feels great.

Election Time! No! Not American!

Recently, I was asked, “do you know more about American politics or Canadian politics?” I really thought about it, and I realized I know way more about what’s going on in American than Canada. American politics effect Canada, but they aren’t as nearly important as Canadian politics (to me who is a Canadian resident.) Theres an election going on right now where I live, and I didn’t even know what it was for, or who was running. But, I could recite to you all the election dates going on in America, and what happening!

That is definitely flawed on my part. I should know whats going on in my own town, city, province, and country! If I’m going to spend any of my energy and brain on politics, It should be on the stuff that effects me, my community and family. So, for this, this week I learned, I’m going to be teaching myself about whats going on in BC right now and why we have an election, as this week we touched on the topic of BC politics. Also… 

1. I am able to vote next year! 

2. Prior to this post and research I was clueless, besides the basics… I didn’t know there was more than one type of election…

3. To be a fully involved Canadian citizen, I should know whats going on in our province and country.

Right now, a Provincial General Election has been called for Saturday, October 24.

John Horgan!

John Horgan the current premier of British Columbia, called this election. He has been leader of the British Columbia NDP since 2014. 

The 2017 provincial election resulted in an unprecedented result, with Horgan’s NDP taking 41 seats and the B.C. Liberal Party winning 43 seats. The Green Party won three seats, and entered into an agreement to join a minority NDP government. So NDP and the Green Party have been working together to take care of BC! But, John Horgan seems to now want it to just be NPD, so he’s hosting a provincial election. Both the NDP and Green agreed not to trigger an election until the next scheduled date, which was set for the fall of 2021. So, as you can assume, theres a lot of controversy about this all, as we are in a global pandemic… Ill do my best to explain it all. 

From my POV after reading as many articles as I can, John Horgan seems to be done with sharing the government with Green, and wants it all to the NDP. He must think he’s going to win, as he’s the one who called the election, but why? Where is his confidence coming from? I think he’s confident because of the way COVID-19 was handled. Most BC residents are pretty happy with how COVID-19 was handled, so I think he believes he he has a good chance of winning win because of that. While that may be true, people are confused to why this is so necessary.  Also, COVID cases are way higher compared to in the spring, that may effect him. “The stability that we had over the course of our minority government is not as strong as it was when we began,” Horgan says.

Twitter has many perspectives!

Newly elected Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau says on twitter, “I met with John Horgan on Friday and told him he had a stable government. This election is completely unnecessary. The NDP has chosen the pursuit of power over the health and safely of the British Columbians.” Which, I actually agree with. If I could vote and was a regular NDP voter, id rethink that. While Ive always respected NDP, I think it’s a bit selfish to call an election a year early, during a pandemic. By calling this election, Horgan is breaking a four year confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party. Formed in 2017, and founded on the principal of “good faith and no surprises” the pact assured the Green Party support’s on matters of confidence.

Andrew Wilkinson!

Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson said Horgan was “putting politics over people.” Which agrees with what I just said. On the health side of it all, Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer was not consulted prior to this election, which I think is very odd. “My role is to provide advice around the health of the population,” she said. “And that is what I will continue to focus on.” She is now focused on how to prepare for an election during a pandemic. An Angus Reid Institute poll found that one in three B.C.ers were uncomfortable heading to the polls in-person given the threat of COVID-19.

I should babble about this for a long time, as theres countless POV’s and statements from the parties. But the question I leave here, that only us after October 24 will know is, will voters punish Horgan for calling an election in a pandemic? 

A 15 Year Old Icon

We all know the name of the amazing Rosa Parks, but recently I heard of Claudette Colvin. If you’re like me, you didn’t recognize that name. Claudette Colvin was the Rosa Parks before Rosa Parks. What do I mean you ask?

rosa parks

Rosa Parks is known for refusing to give her bus seat up to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. She was arrested on December 1, 1955 as there were segregation laws in the south, and what she did was illegal. This kick-started the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was a key part of the Civil Rights movement and caused the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. So yes, Rosa Parks was a badass, but Claudette Colvin did the exact same thing as Parks nine months earlier, yet we never hear her name.

claudette Colvin

Colvin was 15 when she refused to move to the back of the bus and give her seat up to a white person. The bus driver demanded her to get up and she refused, telling the man she’d paid her fare and it was her constitutional right. A quote from Colvin herself is “All I remember is that I was not going to walk off the bus voluntarily.” Moments later, she was handcuffed and arrested by two police officers. “I was afraid, but I was more angry.”

Colvin never really told her story when she moved to New York City, as no one in her community was taking about anything related to it. Colvin also shared the fact she believed Parks was chosen as the face for the bus boycott because she was a tidy, well off, adult. Colvin was a wild, and small teenager. While they both experienced racism, and had to deal with segregation in the south, Colvin was even less privileged than Parks. Colvin did the exact same thing, in the exact same place BEFORE Parks, yet she wasn’t the one everyone knew as the face of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Why I wanted to share Colvin’s story is because she’s so important to American history, yet she isn’t in textbooks, or talked about like Parks is.  If one little blog post can teach one person about her, then my goal is achieved. She was so young, yet so brave and strong. It’s inspirational to see someone only one year off my age (younger too) do something so dangerous and courageous.

Claudette as an adult

When I heard her story, I instantly loved her. I read so many articles and watched so videos of her now at age 69 talking about her story. She’s an incredible woman and I look up to her and her smarts and bravery. Colvin knew what she was experiencing was wrong, and she stood up against it. Us all should look up to Colvin and learn a lesson or two from her. If a 15 year old can do what’s right, so can we.


“I knew then and I know now that, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it, You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.” —Claudette Colvin

Macbeth the Movie

Macbeth! We all have read it, normally in high school English class, or maybe you read it on your free time….Whatever floats your boat. Anyways, my class and I had the endeavour of reading Macbeth. I wrote a few blog posts on the actual play, here, here and here, so check those out. After lot’s of prior work, we created something awesome… A movie! We wrote, planned, filmed, and edited a whole movie (almost). Almost, because of COVID. Lets get into it. 

The third quest
My quest marks improving

Before making the movie, we did a lot of prep work. I was worried for this part because I knew it was going to be a lot of writing, but it ended up working out way better than I thought. We had to write something called a quest. The layout of it was to be given 3 quotes from the play, and we had to choose 2 to analyze in well written paragraph format. We had to include how the quote relates to the before, during and after the quote in events, how the quote highlights
the characteristics of the character, and the significance of the quote/relationship with themes. The first one I wrote was eh, the second one I wrote was good, and the last one I wrote was awesome. This isn’t luck, it was hard work. I made sure after each quest, I knew what I did wrong (not being specific enough, saying something is something when it’s not, proper punctuation, fully understanding the quote, etc) and how I needed to improve. This assignment was important to me, I wanted to do well.

Us brainstorming in class

We started by all pitching movie ideas. We needed to include the following: the a rough overall Macbeth plot line, in a 50s setting. My pitch was a secret society in a boarding school, with things like communists, love, betrayal, and all that wrapped into it. The class liked it, and we went with it. Everything’s a little blurry, as this was about 6 months ago, but I do have vivid memories of it all. Anyways, we were given roles. I wanted director or director of photography, but I ended up with production manager, which ended up being pretty similar to both of those. 

We started with things like script writing (by Jesse and Logan) costume’s (by Maggie), set decorations (by Isabelle), all the filming times (by Adlih), as well as also as a class fully storyboarding the whole movie. Also, a big part of the prep was reading the script. We spent many classes going over it by reading it as class and improving it. There was SO MUCH prep. But, it was fun. The class was very united, and we didn’t argue too much which was surprising. Something to mention is that, this Macbeth movie project is kind of cursed. My brothers grade, as well as the last years grade 11’s have attempted to make a Macbeth movie, and not to be harsh, but both of their groups ran into big problems, or just didn’t execute it properly. Why I’m mentioning this is because we went into this movie making process wanting to break that curse, and I would say we did, besides COVID rudely interrupting. 

After all of the prep (which I could go on for HOURS about but I’m not going to due to not wanting this blog post to be 100000 words) we started casting and filming. I’d tell you the cast, but ill just let you watch the movie later in this post to see who plays who! Anyways, the filming process was chaotic, but fun. I loved being on set and helping execute stuff. And fun fact, a lot of the filming was in my house, so I had to control all that! As production manager, I didn’t have a super specific role like “actor” or “writer”, I kinda just filled in the gaps. On the first few days of filming, I directed a lot of the scenes. This was because at first, I was one of the only people who could handle the chaos and create what we wanted. But as a few days went on, our director (Giorgia) glowed in the spotlight. I’m used to bossing people around and running stuff in PLP projects, so I kind of showed Giorgia the way, and she took the advice and went with it. It wasn’t in a controlling way, I made sure to never step on her feet and just be there if she needed me. 

(A little funny video I made on a day of shooting…)

Also, on days our director of photographer couldn’t film (Lucas) I filmed. I got to use Lucas’s scary but lovely massive camera. I also was boom mic technician. Not to mention the whole flip my house from 2020s modern to 1950s school dorm room.

A bedroom I designed for a Lady Macbeth scene

I’m only listing the things I did because I feel it’s important all of us PLP kids in this class share what we did and remind everyone, because it was such a hard and busy thing and we didn’t necessarily get to stop and appreciate each other on the way. Maggie did a great job at costumes, Jesse and Logan wrote a beautiful script, Adlih did a epic job at planning all the filming days and making sure everyone could show up, and Daniel did an incredible job at editing. I could go on forever with all the awesome things my classmates did, but I just recommend reading some of their blogs to hear about it. 

A happy day on set with Mr Underwood and Mr Zanker

After all the filming days, it came to an abrupt stop when our main actor Macbeth (Marshall) got sick…. Then came spring break which turned into school never again thanks to COVID. Although we didn’t get all the footage, we have hope to one day finish it. So, heres the kind of sort of finished movie. I’m really proud of it, and all my classmates. I think we killed it. 

This project was a highlight of my year, which I mention in my TPOL post. I broke a lot of comfort zones for my self and embraced new things. I let myself be okay with not having the roles I initially wanted, which was hard but was a good lesson for myself. I worked really well with the class, which was surprising as almost everyone in the class is as stubborn as me. I’m glad our class worked so well under that amount of freedom, we were were just given many empty classes that Alivia, Giorgia, Jesse and I ran. But…the thing I’m most proud of personally, is the immense amount of heart and soul I put into this movie. I genuinely cared, and worked my little iPad brain to it’s hardest, so I could do my part in this movie. I hadn’t felt this passionate about a project since the last movie project, the Simon Trailer. I loved feeling that passion again. All of these projects remind me of what I love, and thats filming and directing. It was incredible seeing my pitched movie idea come to life due to all the hard work and dedication everyone put in. 

Thanks blog, have a good one! 

History is Continuing

Hi everyone. Recently, I’ve been researching the topic of slave patrols. It’s a topic I’m discussing in a seminar my group and I are participating in. Our driving question for the seminar is “Are we Doomed to Repeat History?” For this think and create post, I decided I’d discuss slave patrols because A) It will deepen my and your understanding of history and how it effects our world today and B) I can link this post to my seminar post so if readers want to know more about the topics I discuss, they can read this post. 

A mind map I made while listening to podcasts and watching videos on this topic


In 1619, hundreds of Africans were kidnapped and put on ships to what is now Virginia. They were sold off, and became enslaved to many white people living in the south. They worked on plantations, and the plantation owners would often rape and whip the enslaved. Some slaves were forced to whip other slaves, even their own family. The way the enslaved were treated was beyond horrible. On a typical plantation, slaves worked ten or more hours a day. At harvesting time, they were required to stay in the fields for even longer, up to 16 hours a day. 

Slave patrol badges vs American deputy badge

As slave societies became more popular, slave patrols and slave catchers became a form of force in the south. Slave patrols were untrained white men in charge of keeping tabs on where the enslaved were. That meant if black men or woman were off the plantation, the slave patrol could demand to see their slave badge AND they could search anyone’s belongings, just because. Obviously this came with a lot of violence, and fear in the enslaved. The powers that be began passing laws that restricted the enslaved, but found the laws on their own were insufficient. Any adult white man was authorized to enforce those laws, becoming the body called slave patrol. Slave catchers are pretty self explanatory. They were people who returned escaped slaves to their owners. The slave catchers affected non runaway slaves too. They were constantly oppressing and scaring the enslaved to instill a fear in them so they wouldn’t run away. The slave patrollers were free to use any form of weapon to make sure the enslaved were returned to their owners. 


In the 1700s, the South became more industrialized, and there was a growth in slaves in the southern cities. This caused the slave patrols to expand from just remote farm lands of America to busy cities.  They then became professionalized once in the city, and very quickly, their duties expanded. They became a force that we immediately recognize, the modern police force. This first police force was overwhelmingly white, male and didn’t really focus on responding to crime. They wanted to make sure the enslaved felt oppressed, and that is what they did. 

A memorial for George Floyd


To this day, America uses law enforcement that stems from a system that was created with the goal of keeping entire populations of black men and women enslaved. There was never a chain broken of slave patrol to modern police, it just evolved and is what we see now a days. Although slavery is abolished, the spirit of tracking and policing black Americans, had continued. The system has been poked at and changed, but never been redone. In the media we see so many murders of black Americans like George Floyd, and the murderers aren’t just Americans, they’re police. They’re the people with the power. They don’t just have the system on their side, they ARE the system. They are the people we are supposed to trust, and call for help, but how do we expect all black people to trust a system that was built of their oppression.

A image I drew to represent the fact the modern police force is built off slave patrols

The evolution of slave patrols to modern police is undeniable. The least we can do is educate ourselves, and thats why I wrote this. If you’re like me, you’d never heard of slave patrols until recently. I find that insane as it’s so connected to such a large and well discussed force (police) in America. I hope this blog post taught you something. Protest, talk, educate, donate, do anything you can to help stop police brutality.

Jacoe’s TPOL

Hello TPOL readers or watchers! How you are all doing well. This post is all about my grade 11 TPOL! I’m going to be wrapping up my grade eleven year by talking about all the work my class did. This year was a busy one, and because of COVID-19, it wasn’t a fully traditional year.  So, let’s get into it!


“Fair is foul, and foul is fair”. If you recognize that quote, you probably were forced to read Macbeth in high school too! Lucky you! All jokes aside, I was worried when I started to read Macbeth as I have a very hard time interpreting and understanding Shakespeare’s writing. But, Ms. Willemse did a great job of teaching this unit. We read the whole play as a class, making it an enjoyable and understandable piece of writing instead of a scary gibberish book. Anyways, everything I made in this unit was something I felt really good about. We did a lot of reading, writing, and discussing this unit but what stood out to me most was the movie my class and I made.

A bedroom I designed for a Lady Macbeth scene

I was assigned production manager, which I didn’t know how to feel about as I really wanted director or director of photography, but by the end of filming the movie, I had done parts of both of those because what my role was was to basically fill in the gaps. When Giorgia (director) or Lucas (director of photography) wasn’t there on set, I filled their roles. I’m proud of myself for a few things to do with this movie…

1. Being okay with not having all the power, working with Alivia, Jessie, and Giorgia smoothly.

2. Coming up with the plot and characters of the whole movie.

3. Being able to adapt when in crisis and help others.


Shots from set

As production manager, I did a little more than what a traditional production manager does, but I was okay with that. Movies are what I love. Making them, watching them, anything to do with them. I was quite frustrated the first week or so of the movie part of this project because I, and the other key creatives decided on my storyline instead of Giorgia’s, so it was hard to not be able to direct my own ideas. But, I did make sure my ideas were being heard. I’m used to being a loud voice in the PLP classroom, and I was making sure the rest of the crew knew what was going on. I also tried to back away at some points and let the two main powers (Director and Producer), do their work. I didn’t want to take over, I wanted the rest of the crew to try somethings I may have already experienced.

It’s odd, because not being in control is out of my comfort zone. While the outcome of the movie is what I’m mainly proud of, I’m also very proud of the process. Macbeth is a cursed project in PLP history, as class productions never according to plan, but I feel my class did a 10/10 job. We argued, laughed, worked hard, and got closer in the process. I had never seen my class so unified. This is one of my all-time favourite PLP projects, and I’m really proud of it. (Not to mention I was a boss boom mic holder).



The past 2-3 months we have been focusing on the civil rights movement, and everything connected to it. I was really glad to start this unit, as I’ve been looking forward to it all year. While the trip was canceled, I still knew it’d be a good unit because Willemse and Hughes can adapt to almost anything. Why I’m bringing up this unit is not because I’m proud of the finished project, it’s literally not done yet, but because of what state the world is in right now. It’s the most current and important thing to be learning about right now.

Most kids leave high school not knowing much about the civil rights movement, or the black panthers, or icons like Rosa Park, Claudette Colvin, MLK, or Malcolm X, basically any black history. I think that’s terrible as it’s probably one of the most important things teenagers should be being taught and learn. While we in Canada don’t necessarily
see racism daily in our privileged little bubble of Deep Cove, there are black Americans AND Canadians and other minorities being killed and brutalized at a disgustingly high rate. I think learning about the civil rights movement is so important, as history is repeating, and we are seeing the Black Lives Matter movement being brought to the frontlines of media more than ever- Right Now. We are in a 2020 revolution against the police brutality and systematic racism in North America, and I’m so grateful I can fight while feeling educated.

If the topic of BLM is ever brought up with anyone (very often right now) I feel educated enough to where I can spew facts and the resources. It’s so important to be able to educate on topics like this as it’s not something that’s just going to go away easily. It’s something we as a world are going to have to fight against. More than ever, the civil rights movement is now being brought to the frontlines of the global conversation.

I found myself coming back to these

Anyways, the whole ‘claim supports and questions’ idea Hughes has been driving into my brain for the past few weeks is honestly very helpful to actually discussing hard topics in real life. There is always going to be someone fighting against you, and the least you can do is try to educate them. Click HERE to see how you can help/learn more about the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Pictures I took at the protest in Vancouver last week



Ah, poetry, one of my least favourite things. Or at least, that’s what I used to think. I’ve never been the biggest fan of poetry…when it comes to mushy writing you have to share to the public, it makes me cringe a little. But this unit gave me a whole new outlook on poetry and how I think and feel about it.


Ms. Maxwell approached this project in a really cool way as before we started writing poetry
, she really broke it down to it’s most simple form AND we got to learn about a cool form of poetry, popular in the 50s called beat poetry. Anyways, why this project was hard for me is because as happy I am to talk and talk and talk, I get quite get scared to be vulnerable with my words in a school way. Poetry is normally a pretty genuine form of writing, so I was scared. Also, it makes me cringe a little like I said before. When I used to think of poetry I’d think of like 6 foot hipster men with bad mustaches performing their bad poetry at a weird cafe on a Wednesday night. I don’t think like that anymore, I think of awesome beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Amiri Baraka.

I remember having a really hard time sitting down and writing poetry. I am such a perfectionist, I wanted it to be perfect. Thankfully, I came to a realization that poetry doesn’t have to be perfect, or even… good. It’s YOUR writing, and it’s up for interpretation.
I remember letting my words flow and I wrote about 10 in an hour. Moving on from the writing process, I remember having to stand in front of the class and read two of my poems ON A MIC as a dress rehearsal. I never ever ever get nervous when it comes to presenting stuff to my small PLP class, but I remember the absolute terror and nervousness I felt before presenting.

Poems can be such vulnerable sensitive pieces of work, sharing them seemed like a nightmare to me. I was happy with the poems I wrote, but I assumed everyone else in the class would hate them and I’d be embarrassed. But, after reading my poems with my shaky hands and dry nervous mouth, I saw my peers and Ms. Maxwell smiling and clapping. It was instant relief. School can be quite repetitive, but this project was new and exciting.Later on had to present my poetry to basically everyone I ever know in a small gym room for the winter exhibition, dressed as an…. Ewok. But surprisingly I wasn’t as scared as I was when presenting to just my class. I had overcome my fear and hate towards poetry, and that was for sure one of the hardest things I did that year.


Overall, this year was a beautiful mess. With corona infiltrating my end of the year, to dressing up as Ewoks, to filming Macbeth, it was an awesome year. I tried a lot of new things and I can tell my little learning brain has grown, and that’s why I feel I’m ready for grade 12. (Scary). Thank you to everyone who put up with me this year!

Picture I took in New Mexico!

This Week I learnt…

Hi! This is going to be my last “This Week I Learned” post. While reading Macbeth and learning about the Cold War, I noticed a strong theme/idea that links the two together. This theme was noticeable through all of Macbeth, but during the Cold War lectures it was the first time I could really connect it to more modern times (1950’s is modern compared to the 1500’s!). The two things I’ll be comparing is the fall of the chain of power in Macbeth, and the Diefenbunker in the 1950’s. Both of these things help support the idea that a country needs to protect the hierarchy or the society will start to break down. 

I mention this in the podcast!

For this weeks artifact I decided to do a podcast. I haven’t created a podcast since grade 10 and I think it’s a good way to switch up the layout of this TWIL post. Listen to the short podcast below where I discuss the importance of protecting the hierarchy using an example of power in Macbeth, and the Diefenbunker in the Cold War.

So, I’m not going to repeat everything I just said, but I am going to repeat one thing. The King being killed in the play is the equivalent to an atomic bomb being dropped on Canada in the Cold War. If you didn’t listen to that podcast, that is going to make no sense, sorry. Anyways, here’s the Encounters with Canada post I mentioned. I hope you learned something, and if you want to know more about the topics I talk about, I linked some articles to key words in the post.