- The way you communicate with people to make them feel comfortable is as (if not more) important than having pedantic knowledge.
- Consider being in medicine more of a lifestyle than a job. Even when you’re off work, the concern of your patients is always carried around with you.
- Once you’ve had the clarification of whether or not you seriously consider perusing a career path, the rest is hard work and dedication.
My passion for music goes way back to when I was in elementary school. Some of my fondest memories are jamming out in the car with my mom to popular songs at the time. Back in 2008, one of the leading albums of the year was P!nk’s Funhouse. The album peaked number 2 on the Billboard top 200 and was spawn to multiple hit singles like So What, Sober, and Please Don’t Leave Me. I remember hearing her songs on the radio, but not thinking much of them. At that time, I had not known how eminent she truly was.
Fastforward to August 27th of this year, the annual MTA VMAs. Countless talented artists gather from all all over North America to celebrate music and be recognized for their achievements. I specifically remember thinking that P!nk’s performance was especially extraordinary, singing a blend of all her greatest hits in one fluent motion. Later in the evening, she proceeded to receive the highest honor of the night: The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award; an accolade presented to an artist corporately (non-annually) that represents lifetime achievement in the music industry, more specifically within highly praised music videos. While recieving the award, P!nk brought to light a topic most public figures aren’t comfortable talking about. Her little girl had been bullied for wanting to dress more masculine in school, and P!nk took the opportunity to present the topic publicly, as she had also faced adversity for branding herself as more masculine. Her speech focused on how androgynous artists such as Michael Jackosn, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury etc. had been discriminated against every day of their lives for just being themselves. This being said, they continued to be successful and didn’t listen to the people trying to put them down.
“And that’s what people use when they talk about me. They say that I look like a boy; that I’m too masculine, or that my hair is too short, or I have too many opinions, or my body is too strong. I said to her: ‘do you see me growing my hair?’ she said ‘no mama.’ I said ‘do you see me changing my body?’ ‘no mama.’ ‘do you see me changing the way I present myself?’ ‘no mama.’ ‘do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘yes mama.'” P!nk at MTV VMA’s 2017. (source)
Even though in the beginning I was hesitant about choosing P!nk as my eminent person, I definitely think that this is the right choice over all. She is such an empowering woman, and she only gets more interesting the more I research. In terms of barriers between herself and I, she definitely has faces tons of adversity for how she presents herself (verbal harassment, threats etc.), and I have never faced discrimination as overwhelming as that. However, we are both women of a similar upbringing and privilege, so I do not think this will be an issue during night of the notables.
Yes, I’d like to see myself lead a similar path that she has. I don’t necessarily want to be famous, but I want to speak out about things that matter to me and spread messages worth spreading. I think that P!nk has taken advantage of her popularity in the best way by doing just that. My mission statement for life, if you will, is to inspire people to be the best they can be and spread happiness. A prime obstacle to achieving this eminence will be trying not to acknowledge the people that are skeptical of what I’m doing and judge and put down every one of my moves. I tend to care a lot about what people think, which has not worked out in my favor. I need to learn how to trust myself and stop depending on other people so much, and I hope this project will lead me in the right direction to start doing that.
In the end, I hope to represent P!nk’s positive and empowering personality through this project. I will try my hardest so that my presentation of her does her justice, as she does deserve to be honored and remembered as eminent.
In your opinion, what is the most effective medium for telling the “Harrison Bergeron” narrative: film or text? Explain your answer using specific details that relate to each version, as well as thoughtful reasoning.
Every once in a while an adaptation for a film comes out to the big screen. Usually the reaction from amateur critics are against the film, bashing the film for it’s in authenticity relating to the text. However, I think that Chandler Tuttle’s adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron was quite authentic, to say the least; and added another layer of depth to the overall concept. In my opinion, the most effective way to present Harrison Bergeron (if I had to choose between one or the other) would be through the film.
The main difference between the text and the short-film was the main premise of Harrison wanting to become ’emperor’ (text), and him wanting to expose the Handicapper General (film). I think that this is the factor that distinguishes the two separate stories, and I prefer the one presented as a movie. “‘I am the Emperor!” cried Harrison. “Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!”‘ (3). Comparing this quote to one taken from the movie: “If it is greatness we must destroy, let us drag our enemy out of the darkness where it has been hiding. Let us shine a light, so at last, all the world can see!” (11:50) It is clear that his motives are different. The main difference here is that Harrison is being presented as greedy and wants to be an over ruler, but in the film he wants to unite the population to fight against their common enemy– the governor general. This can also be supported by the graffiti-ed text above Harrison’s bomb: “Live free or die” (13:30).
Something else that I enjoyed about the film more than the text is the various subtleties that are sprinkled around that add to the story. Tuttle did an amazing job putting little details in while allowing the audience to connect the dots by themselves. I cannot say the same meticulous detail-orientation was present in the text. A good example of this would be how at the end of the film, Hazel hums the same tune that Harrison is dancing to while on TV (credits to Phia for noticing this). That specific detail would not have been able to be presented in text, without giving away the connection.
However, while focusing on the tiny details, Tuttle may have overlooked some particularly bigger components that take away from the realism of the story. In the short story, everything is handicapped in effort to make everyone equal– and it is all consistent. “Two of the eight ballerinas had collapsed onto the studio floor, were holding their temples [after their mental handicaps went off]” (2). In the short film, details including that one were overlooked. Instead of the ballerinas falling because of their mental handicaps, in the film, their physical handicaps are to blame (they aren’t even wearing mental handicap headphone devices). Another example would be how none of the musicians had mental handicaps nor physical ones. I thought that was especially strange, because based on my logic, I would have thought the nearly all the musicians would have mental handicaps on.
This being said, I do enjoy the film version more, but I also think that both the story and film are worth viewing. They are the same story, but in the end convey a different message in terms of how people choose to use their power.
Discuss your response to Suzuki’s letter. Specifically, what is his thesis? This letter could be a letter to you. Why did you learn or ‘take away’ from his experiences? Do you appreciate his message? Why?
Being half Chinese myself, I have witnessed first-hand racism towards East Asian people. However, because I look like I am completely white, I have not been subject of racism specifically. Reading this story really hit home for me, as my mom and my grandparents immigrated from Hong Kong in the 90’s. My family has been, and still is, the subject of casual and directed racism. The explicit point I think he is trying to make is that no-one is born with racism, it is taught. “It’s funny how when we are kids, we don’t see the difference that adults do. We learn to fear or hate from our parents or others around us” (17). When Suzuki’s friend called him the c-word, he is shocked and can’t find any other way to respond then to laugh awkwardly. If I was placed in that situation, I would like to say that I would stand up to him, but there’s no saying what would happen in the actual heat of the moment. Since Suzuki’ friend said the slur as if it was just a regular word, it means he has been previously exposed time and time again to it. It could be from his parents, friends, or other people in his life. Racism is like a virus; being passed on from person to person. This being said, I really appreciate his message that in the end, good people will always pull through. The prime example being when Suzuki talked about how his father was helped by a Chinese man even though they faced cultural differences. I personally believe that even though the world may seem like a really dangerous, scary place, through all the darkness we can always find light. There will always be bad people, but for every bad person there are 10 people doing the right thing.
What might you ‘take away’ from our discussions of Stuart Mclean’s “Emil” or “Safe Places,” Chamimanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story,” or Budge Wilson’s “The Metaphor” this week? How might you apply this ‘take away’ to your life or passions, learning you have done in other classes, or significant events or ideas taking place in the world as a whole?
Reading Safe Places by Stuart McLean re-lit a topic that had before sparked a fire inside me. Perpetuating negative ideas not to send a message, but only to capitalize on fear. No matter how much good is happening in the world, the media shows us bad things anyways, because our brains pay attention to bad things; to stay alive. This way, more people are to watch. Take Steven Speilberg’s Jaws for example. Jaws broke box-office records and revolutionized the movie industry. Everyone was and still is talking about it; it held relevance. Because of it, sharks are one of the most feared animals on earth. They are seen as predators. They are seen as dangerous. However, this is not true. On average, sharks are an attribute to about 10 deaths a year worldwide. Why are we put under the intention that it is more? Ladders are responsible for 355 deaths a annually, yet we are not intimidated by them. The movie industry and media is manipulating us into fearing specific things; so, knowing this, why would we believe the cliche that there are more bad people than good? “We’ve bought this danger story hook, line and sinker, and in so doing, we’ve robbed our children of childhood” (146). A good summary of the idea is the last paragraph of the text. “If it is evildoers you seek, you will find them aplenty; if it is enemies you want, they are there too. But if you want the truth, the truth is this: blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (147).
I believe in good things, I believe in good people. I don’t think the world is as scary as it is made out to be, and if it is, I’ll just have to see for myself.
In Stuart McLean’s “Emil”, it is shown throughout the story that fulfillment has a different meaning to every individual and understanding this helps us build relationships in our community. The story tells of a woman named Morley who develops friendly relations with an underprivileged homeless man names Emil. Even though Emil can’t afford much, he finds other ways to be happy that money can’t buy. Emil is seen as content with his current life and only takes what he needs, when he needs it. When Morley offers Emil change he says “I don’t need it, I have enough [money]” (page 111). This is also demonstrated when Emil wins the lottery and instead of spending it, he gives it away to people who have previously treated him with compassion. Morley gains an understanding of what Emil really needs, and instead of offering money, she buys him flowers for his garden. On the other hand, we see Dave, Morley’s husband, show little to no compassion to Emil and neglects to even respect him. “He’s making me crazy. he’s driving away business. He can’t just stand around on the street like that.” (page 109) Dave says about Emil. This clearly shows the contrasting views of Morley and Dave, and how far Morley has gone to treat Emil like a friend and make him feel included in the community.
The story shows how Emil is content with his humble life, doing things to make other people happy even though he doesn’t have much himself. Even if he’s offered an amount of money that could tempt him, he doesn’t give in and only takes what he knows he needs. A lot of people assume that giving homeless people money is the most responsible thing to do, but as we discussed in class, communicating with them and not making assumptions based on their financial state can be more beneficial for them in terms of getting what they really need. Morley does this by talking to Emil and finding that he has a garden. Instead of persisting to offer him money until he takes it, she buys him flowers and plants them knowing that that will make him happy.
A visit from detective Tom DeWitt catches our protagonist, Mike, off guard as he is sat with his mother during dinner. He is angry at the thought that Tom would have the nerve to pry into their personal lives uninvited; “[As] if he wanted to be thought of as a friend” (page 78). In this scene, it is evident that Mike doesn’t trust Tom DeWitt with investigating his father’s trial, questioning him and talking back at him any chance that he gets. Mike acts very immature in this scene, as he is 18 but does not take the situation seriously, shown when he makes a joke about his father’s disappearance. “Didn’t [Dad’s friend] say he’d hide Dad if he ever killed anybody?” (Mike’s page 79) “None of this is funny, Mike.” (Mike’s mother, page 79). Mike’s internal conflicts come to light, by joking he shows that he is uncomfortable and just wants to forget about the entire situation and just move on with his life; but the current circumstances won’t allow it. It is evident in other parts of the chapter that he is a smart person, but does not use his intelligence to his advantage within these situations. I do not think he acted appropriately when faced with Tom DeWitt, either. It is Tom’s job to try and decipher his father’s disappearance, which would benefit Mike and his mother by giving them closure instead of wondering if he will ever return. In terms of the storyline, I think it would be more interesting if Mike were to pry more into the situation. At the moment, he’s seen just sitting back and watching the entire thing unfold, but not really asking questions or trying to figure things out for himself. This being said, I think that Mike has the right to put that aside and move on with his life if he chooses. Moving to a new school is hard enough (especially college), and having everyone talk about something bad that’s been forced into your life and make assumptions based on that may affect how people perceive you. If I were in this situation, I would definitely want to know every detail I possibly could and try to squeeze as much information out of anyone I thought might know something that I didn’t. However, I do not think that Mike’s reaction is unreasonable. I can understand especially since Mike is transitioning into his official adult life that he would want to start fresh and become more independent; which is inevitable to all of us with the coming of age.
She walked into the classroom with long strides, draped in a fuchsia trench coat and a long, thin scarf. Her crooked, wrapped neck snapped around, bringing her into tedious eye contact with various unfortunate students. Her legs seemed to move as an entity of their own, their lengthiness transporting her ossified upper half around the small classroom. Finally, she paused from her stalking and stood completely still at the front of the classroom, the harsh fluorescent light catching a sparkle in her eye. “Class.” she drawled, the words crawled out of her mouth and lingered in the air. She reached for a piece of chalk; her slender spider-like fingers tightening around the utensil; as she began to scrape words onto the board letter by letter. The green slate read ‘Ms. Pasghetti’ in flawless calligraphy. She whipped around to reveal herself front side to the students; but only to be accompanied by her thoughts.
So for my TED Talk, I decided to approach it a different way. Instead of doing a TED Talk- a more slow, question-based idea format of TED, I did a TED Ed- a faster, more visual and information-based form of TED. Even though TED Eds and TED Talks are a little bit different, this format was better for me to help get my point across.
I presented my work in an animation kind of way, because personally for me, it helps me learn more efficiently.
I worked extremely hard trying to deliver a different media style to my TED video, and I hope it pays off by teaching you a few things about my topic! Enjoy!
P.S, I showed my TED Talk to some of you guys in class, so if you watched it please comment. I’m having trouble publishing it at the moment but I will try and get it resolved asap!
US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What Is a Seamount?” NOAA’s National Ocean Service. N.p., 01 Aug. 2014. Web. June 2017.
“10 Deep-sea Secrets Revealed.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 26 Nov. 2008. Web. June 2017.
“NOAA – Ask Us about Our Budget.” NOAA. N.p., n.d. Web. June 2017.
Knight, J.D. “Giant Isopod.” Deep Sea Creatures on Sea and Sky. N.p., n.d. Web. June 2017.
“Why Some Creatures in the Deep Sea Grow to Enormous Sizes.” ZME Science. N.p., 07 July 2015. Web. June 2017.
“Kleiber’s Law.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2017. Web. June 2017.
“Bergmann’s Rule.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 June 2017. Web. June 2017.
Feeney, Nolan. “All Hail the Kraken: Scientists Capture Live Footage of Giant Squid.” Time. Time, 08 Jan. 2013. Web. June 2017.
The 5 TED Talk I watched before making my own:
Ted Talk about spam emails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QdPW8JrYzQ
How to send smart in your Ted Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S0FDjFBj8o
Exploring the oceans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOYIKJho18I
Underwater sea creatures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVvn8dpSAt0
We know more about the moon than the sea floor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3hrtaL9B1k
In science, we are talking about the carbon, and how it affects the environment. We were all tasked to calculate our carbon footprints, and then find out how we could reduce them. We used the sheet we received (shown above) to help calculate our personal ecological footprint. My personal carbon footprint is 8.07 hectares, compared to the class’ average of 10 hectares.
Here are some ways I am increasing my carbon footprint, and a plan on how to reduce it.
Some things that contribute to my carbon footprint size:
- I buy all my clothing new.
- I use toxic cleaning products.
- I eat meat and other food that contribute to carbon pollution.
- I don’t use public transportation as much as I should.
- I produce too much waste even though I recycle.
- I do not have a contraption in my toilet to help reduce water usage.
- I take really long showers.
- I spend a lot of time on digital devices.
- The food I eat is not organic all of the time.
- My family owns more than one car.
5 things that I will do to reduce my carbon footprint and why:
- Buy clothing second hand
Buying clothing second hand doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Even though I don’t do it as much as I can, I actually think buying clothes second hand can be fun and give new life to something that was previously used already. Sometimes buying clothes second hand also benefits more than just the environment. If you buy clothes during a sale which proceeds go to charity, you are helping a good cause while reducing your carbon footprint.
- Taking shorter showers
A really bad habit of mine is that I take really long showers. It relaxes me, but I understand it’s not necessary and that I can get clean in a way shorter amount of time, and even with cold water if I really wanted to go the extra mile. Even before this assignment I’ve been trying to take shorter showers, but now I have a real incentive.
- Use public transportation more often
A big contributor towards my carbon footprint is always using cars. An effective way to help reduce my impact on the environment would be using public transportation more often. It’s a quick and easy way to get places, with being cautious about the environment.
- Use water-saving contraptions
Something really easy that I could do to help reduce my carbon footprint is finding out ways to use less water in my everyday life. An interesting way I found online that will drastically reduce the amount of water you use on a daily basis is putting a 2-litre bottle of water inside the tank of your toilet to displace water, thus using less.
- Buy food more locally.
Purchasing locally-farmed/made foods is a good way to support local farmers and businesses while helping the environment. Most of the food that my family buys now is somewhere outside of BC (typically still in Canada) because it is cheaper. I think getting food from trusted local farmers is worth the small extra amount (if the price is any different at all).
THE EASY CHANGES:
The easiest changes that I had to make were saving water and buying local food. As I mentioned earlier, putting a 2-litre bottle of water in the tank of your toilet displaces more water so you use less with every flush. This didn’t seem to affect the toilet’s ability to flush, so it was an easy way to save some water. In terms of buying local food, it was an extremely easy switch. It turns out that local produce is actually sometimes cheaper than the stuff we would have typically bought, we just had to know where to buy it. When I explained to my mom why this was a smarter choice, she agreed to try and buy more locally-produced foods.
THE DIFFICULT CHANGES:
A difficulty change that I encountered was taking shorter showers. I’ve been in the habit of taking long showers my entire life, that I usually lose track of time and stay in there thinking. To combat this, I set up a timer outside of my shower so I would know when to get out. I set the timer for 5 minutes initially, but for 10 minutes when I needed to wash my hair. Even though this was tricky to get use to, I eventually got the hang of it. Another difficult change to make was using public transportation. In the past, I haven’t had the best experience with taking the skytrain/bus. I usually get lost and confused, not knowing what line to take. I’ve decided to take the skytrain with my friends to try and get use to it. Even though I have yet to take the skytrain by myself, I am still reducing my carbon footprint.
STEPS TO HELP REDUCE MY FOOTPRINT IN THE FUTURE:
In the future, I would like to go vegetarian. As of now, I don’t really have the option to decide my own diet; as my parents still cook for me. (and my mom’s culture is heavily meat-surrounded, so a lot of the dinners we go to from her side of the family have no vegetarian options anyway.) When I’ve moved out and have my own home, I’d like to take on the challenge to see what it’s like.