John A. Macdonald essay – A Founder of Oppression

A Founder of Oppression

Savage, Indian, Aryan. Derogatory names used to describe indigenous people, uttered by one of Canada’s own founding fathers. John A. Macdonald was not only a creator of confederation, but was the creator of the ongoing spiral of maltreatment experienced by indigenous people today. Nonetheless, despite his list of political achievements, the horrible things he did paired with his actions being constantly justified, is more than enough evidence to have him removed from the public sphere.

Even if John A. Macdonald’s actions could be vindicated, it by no means justify the way that his legacy is handled today. There are many indigenous peoples and children having to experience the same unstoppable spiral of oppression Macdonald had created as their grandparents, almost as a sort of déjà vù: “We are still affected by racism, both systemic and violent […] Colonization didn’t happen 400 years ago; it began 400 years ago and continues today. Right now” (Dimaline,1) Dimaline states. Indigenous people aren’t asking for Macdonald to be removed from history, nor for anyone to feel guilty about something they couldn’t have controlled. They are asking for a safe environment that their children can learn in without having their perpetrator’s name scrawled across their planners and school uniforms. They are asking for the proper respect and recognition of the events he fostered instead of the glorification of his figure through statues, honorary namings of public spaces; furthermore, Dimaline says: “Let’s teach our children about Macdonald, not make them line up under his banner” (Dimaline, 3).

This being said, many people still believe that Macdonald’s actions can be set aside because of the concrete contributions he’s allocated leading to the creation of Canada as a whole. However, allowing John A. Macdonald to be presented as ‘racist on the side’ devalues the idea and weight of racism and oppression that many have faced. Even though the common values of the past aren’t comparable to ours: “Macdonald admitted that he was supporting the policy largely because he was running a country full of racists” (Hopper, 1) keeping statues of his figure erect further perpetuates the idea that someone who oppresses groups of people can be successful when they shouldn’t be. Furthermore, in order for even the simplest matters to be put to an end, it is important that we stop lauding and justifying John A. Macdonald’s actions.  Even though John A. Macdonald’s achievements are a key element of Canada’s history, he should be seen as a racist first and a founding father second.

John A. Macdonald was a founding father of Canada, but this by no means vindicates him of his actions. Despite his political achievements, his wrongdoings paired with his actions being constantly justified is plenty reason for him to be removed from the public sphere. Without action, the ongoing spiral of hate indigenous people have faced will only continue to worsen. Do we really want our future to be influenced by the past?

Canada Independent Investigation – The Fate of the Fur Trade

Note: One of the pictures on this post looks super stretched out but I can’t figure out how to fix it. It looks fine in the previews, sorry!

Inquiry question: To what extent would the fur trade been different had Ochasteguin and his people (Huron-Wendat) not won the fight against Haudenosaunee Confederacy?

 

A. Outline the focus of your inquiry and provide background knowledge. Why is this an important and significant questions to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

The fur trade took a big role in helping shape Canada’s history, culture, and early settlements. The first European settlement in Canada was built by Samuel de Champlain and his men, which soon was to become a fur-trading centre. However, sending fur to France would have been nearly impossible without access to the St. Lawrence river. By becoming allies with the Huron-Wendat peoples and assisting them with defeating the Iroquois, Samuel de Champlain won access to the river and the ability to exclusively export beaver fur to Europe. But by choosing to side with the Huron-Wendat, New France also faced a bitter rivalry with the Iroquois, “While sleeping, I dreamed that I saw our enemies, the Iroquois, drowning in the lake near a mountain” (163, Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, 1604-1618). If the Iroquois won the battle, they would have not granted him and New France access to the St. Lawrence. Had they not gained access to the St. Lawrence, a lower amount of fur, if any at all would have reached Europe, resulting in less beaver fur in circulation and higher-costing beaver hats.

(Image source - Wikimedia commons)

(Image source – Wikimedia commons)

 

This is an important question to ask because since the fur-trade was such a major role in shaping Canada’s current values, what the result would be if New France didn’t have the ability to export furs down the St. Lawrence. At first glance beaver hats seem like an insignificant if not at all significant part of Canadian history. However hats were such a trend in England, that 3.3 million hats were made (about one person per hat). The popularity and demand grew so steeply, that within the first six decades of the century, the trend spread to new areas and beaver fur accounted for two-third of all export trades received in Portugal. The influx of profits to the French allowed them to send over more men to New France and allow permanent residents to immigrate, creating a lasting society and eventually the first Canadians.

Ethical Judgement: Is what happened right and fair by the values and standards of the time? How about from our current values and standards? Explain.

It’s hard to say whether or not what happened was right and fair by the values and standards of the time. Battling to the death for something wasn’t an uncommon practice, but it’s hard to determine whether or not having a literal ‘secret weapon’ was fair or not. There is no clear source for the terms agreed upon during the battle against the Iroquois, but since they have never dealt (or even heard of) firearms in the past, it was definitely something they weren’t expecting.

In our current society, people tend to be more civil and use the law to sort out their disagreements. Since there was no concrete written law, and crimes and their punishments could be argued more freely. There wasn’t the technology back then to prove if someone was guilty or not, so people could get away with huge crimes that people have no chance of getting away with today. That being said, it’s unfair to compare our values to theirs. But again, determining whether or not pulling out a gun in bow fight is fair is a grey-area. Hypothetically, if two groups of people were to fight to the death in this day and age, I would think that rules would be set in place deeming what would make a fair fight.

(Image source: Wikimedia commons)

Cause and Consequence: Why did your researched questions happen the way they did and what were the consequences?

The one piece of technology that helped Samuel de Champlain win the battle against the Iroquois and ultimately decide the course of Canada’s history was firearms, more specifically his arquebus. None of the First Nations had ever seen, not to mention fought against, anything of that sort. Even though the First Nation’s arrows were much more accurate, they only prepared themselves with armour made of cotton and wood, which were plenty defense against arrows but no match for the arquebus.

Image result for arquebus samuel de champlain

(Image source – canadianhistoryworkshop.wordpress.org)

By using his firearm, Samuel de Champlain was able to shoot two of men with one musket ball, one of them being the chief. The Iroquois were so shocked by the speed and seemingly effortless execution, that they soon fled the battle.

B. What conclusions can you make about your questions based on the research your conducted?

Based on my research, I can conclude that the growth of the New France settlement would have occured much slower and possibly never reached the size to allow the first Canadians to be born. The amount of income that beaver furs provided for the French was what lead to an immigration to New France, increase in settlements, and growth of the society. Without the first steps of defeating the Iroquois in battle and gaining access to the St. Lawrence, the fur trade would have never been as successful as it was, affecting Canada heavily in the future.

Primary Source: https://archive.org/stream/voyagessam00chamrich/voyagessam00chamrich_djvu.txt

Secondary source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWdOQE459vg&t=265s

Secordary source: https://eh.net/encyclopedia/the-economic-history-of-the-fur-trade-1670-to-1870/

Secondary Source: http://plato.acadiau.ca/courses/idst/matthews/Images%20on%20p/FurTrader/ExplorerRoutes.html
Secondary Source: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/iroquois-wars/

Social Studies DOL #1 – Is Canada a ‘post national’ state?

 

1. Choose an event from Canada’s past or present (social, political, environmental, or economic) and describe / illustrate (show cause and effect) how this event influenced / influences all four of the quadrants. Provide images / primary source evidence where possible.

The Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion has recently affected not only the provinces directly involved, but Canada as a whole. Many Canadians (primarily British Columbians) disagreed with the construction of the pipeline, worried about the potential effects it would have on the environment if it were to leak. The NDP government in BC called for a re-consideration of the expansion given the concern. Unhappy with this decision, Alberta decided to ban the import of BC wines and shut down electricity negotiations completely, a trade that comes out to 70 million dollars a year. Along with the announcement of the BC wine import ban, Alberta encouraged it citizens to, when choosing a glass of wine from BC: “Think of your energy workers, think of your neighbors, think of our community, think about our province and maybe choose some terrific Alberta craft beer instead.” Alberta is deciding to take a stance to strengthen their provincial community instead of Canada as a whole. This heavily impacts the job market and puts tens of thousands of national jobs at risk, but also sets a heavily negative tone to the rest of the world in terms of Canada’s trade.  The president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce says: “We’re sending a message to the rest of the world that this may not be a good place to invest,” as there has not been a Canadian national dispute this large in ages. If the division continues, Canada will lose its heavily credited sense of unity, and eventually be pitted against one another based solely on what province they are from- similarly to how the rest of Canada supposedly discriminates against citizens of Quebec after their failed attempt at independence in 1995. As Beatty continues to say, “We have to decide at this point in Canada, whether we are one country or 13?” However, more issues arose involving more social morality than economics. BC is home to many indigenous peoples and their land, and the plans for the pipeline run right through indigenous territory. This isn’t just about money anymore, but the provincial identity of BC. Indigenous chiefs and members of the community have made a website called ‘Coast Protectors’ opposing the pipeline expansion. They have collected 23 thousand signatures in an effort to protect their territories. The Kinder Morgan Pipeline has caused an uproar and has pitted provinces against each other, citizens against the government, and ultimately Canada against itself.

2. Does your event represent a step towards creating and maintaining a coherent Canadian identity, or does it move Canada more clearly in the direction of Trudeau’s discussion of a “postnational” state?

I believe that a greater effort should be made to reach a consensus in order to keep a good relationship between provincial governments. “This doesn’t look like a government that is working together.” Alberta Premier Rachel Notely says, commenting on how the issue will be taken to court as soon as possible to try and be resolved. Banning the purchase of multiple resources benefits neither end- as each province benefits from the income as well as the resource itself. The disagreement on the pipeline doesn’t only affect provinces, but separate nations within the provinces. Canada, more specifically BC, is home to many indigenous peoples and their territories, and by intruding their beliefs by building the pipeline through their territory- it is only creating more problems and division throughout Canada. I think that the event I’ve chosen has more to do with moving Canada in the direction of a postnational state- but not in a good way.

3. In your opinion, is there any value in trying to define a specific Canadian identity, or should we abandon this idea towards a more open and global idea of nationhood? Why?

Ideally I think that a more global idea of a nationhood should be strived towards, but further unifying Canada is a good way to start. It’s unreasonable to ask all of Canada to share the same opinion, political beliefs etc, but the government should not be pointing fingers at one another and starting national fights. A nation should be able to function despite different opinions and points of view, no matter how black and white the situation may seem. “Those who stand for public office ask for the privilege of being able to lead,” says Beatty. This includes leading everyone within Canada at once and not selecting a specific class to cater to. All citizens should be considered when making decisions, not only the working class, not only the provinces at hand, but Canada as a whole. This includes all nations within Canada and all citizens with different beliefs. Allowing all points of views to be held into account fosters a place of belonging and a safe environment where anyone can thrive.

 

http://calgaryherald.com/news/politics/alberta-government-guarantees-20-years-of-oil-for-keystone-xl-pipeline

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-thursday-february-8-2017-1.4524990/is-canada-one-country-or-13-trudeau-must-end-the-alberta-b-c-pipeline-fight-says-business-leader-1.4524995

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-february-5-2018-1.4519869/as-alberta-and-b-c-go-to-war-over-kinder-morgan-oil-pipeline-politicians-are-worried-about-jobs-their-own-1.4519948

 

Socials blog post #2: Sourcing a Significant Object

charizard-card

Inquiry question: What is the story behind the 2nd edition print Charizard holographic card in my bedroom?

 

  1. Source:
    1. Primary source – This source was created by the Wizards of the Coast card making company, with the art of Mitsuhiro Art.
    2. The card was designed in Japan, but was printed in the USA between 1999 – 2000.
    3. The card was purchased on March 2nd, 2015 at Mostly Music as a birthday present.
  2. Context:
    1. The card is a part of a franchise called Pokemon, which is (originally) a Japanese game for the Game Boy where the goal is to venture the world of Pokemon and capture all the different kinds of Pokemon. The first game in the franchise was released in 1996 in Japan.
    2. The success of the initial Pokemon video games, translated into a tangible collective card game. The original Pokemon games (Pokemon Red, Green, Blue) grossed a combined four billion dollars as of 1997 (http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon).
    3. I had received this card from my dad as a birthday present when I turned 13.
    4. At the time I got the card, I had already been collecting Pokemon cards for about six years. I had been looking for this specific card as it’s arguably the most iconic card in the series and the ‘holy grail’ of any collector’s collection.
    5. Pokemon was a huge trend when I was in elementary school, and my love for the games + cards never died down.
  3. Description:
    1. This card was previously owned by someone else who had opened this card from a pack that was made in 1999 – 2000. The card could have possibly been owned by several people before me.
    2. I can’t explain the scratches left on the card before me. I have the card protected in three card sleeves and since the card was scratched by someone who had the card before me, I can infer that they weren’t as careful with handling it as I am now.
    3. The card is a second edition print, meaning that it was the second print run of the first card series. The value and rarity of the card greatly differs between a first edition and second edition.charizard-comparison
  4. Inferences about perspective:
    1. The group that the artist belonged to is Nintendo. Mitsuhiro Arita’s art is featured in numerous card sets for Pokemon and other cards games such as Yugioh.
    2. One could infer that I am a hard-core Pokemon collector seeing as the card is meticulously protected.
    3. The audience originally targeted to play the card game was kids between the age of 10-12 however, more and more people in their late teens and early twenties are playing the game. Even though the target demographic is kept in mind, Pokemon is a game truly intended for everyone and is not catered to a specific age.
    4. Something that can’t be inferred from the source is how I obtained the card. In reality, I bought it as a single, but someone else could infer that I was lucky and opened up the card from a pack.
  5. Inferences about inquiry question:
    1. I learned from the card that: Pokemon was and still is a really big part of my life even though I may have not realized it at the time, and that I enjoyed collecting Pokemon cards specifically.
    2. The contextual evidence helps me answer my question as to why I own the card.
    3. Additional question: How did the store I bought the card from (Mostly Music) obtain the card?

Socials Blog Post #1: Levels of thinking

Based on our conversations in class today, your prior experience, and the “Guideposts to Historical Thinking” handout, which historical thinking question do you believe is the most important to consider for a vibrant and challenging Social Studies experience this year? Why?

Even though all of Peter Seixas’ Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts work hand-in-hand to form a bigger concept, I believe that one of these pieces stands out and can be elaborated and thought of to a deeper level. “Historical Significance – how do we decide what is important to learn about the past?” (11) on the surface seems completely subjective and can be thought about in many different ways depending on the person. One might say that the event of a local pet store opening was a historical event because they got their first pet from there, while another person would disagree with the argument that a historical event must greatly affect a group of people in order for it to count. However, I believe that instead of something either being completely significant or completely insignificant, there are different levels of how impact an event is, and that something being either significant or insignificant is a spectrum and can vary depending on how someone chooses to think. For example, most would not consider someone being rejected from a school a significant event. Of course, it did affect the person who didn’t get into the school, as their future may be compromised, but since it didn’t affect anyone else except the person involved, it is not a significant event. What if the person in question was Hitler, and that very rejection was his motive for the Holocaust? Is it then considered a significant event? One could go even further and say that Hitler’s blooming interest for art was a significant event, as it created a domino effect that in turn killed millions of people. I believe instead of asking if something is/isn’t important to learn about the past, we should be asking to ‘what extent did/does an event have the ability to affect the world in the future?’ 

Below is a set of levels I have created as inspiration to where this kind of thinking can lead.

Level 1 – Personal event: An event that did not affect a large group of people, but instead a singular person that can cause a chain reaction of events down the line that affect other people in turn. E.g, Hitler being rejected from art school.

Level 2 – Mass event: An event affecting a large group of people, each person with a different perspective on the situation that caused them to act differently throughout their lives. E.g, The Holocaust.

Level 3 – World event: An event affecting the entirety of mankind, changing the way humans interact with each other as a species. E.g, the Big Bang.

By further developing questions and concepts, our class would have the ability to not only analyze the extent of how impactful an event can be, but through doing this, make ourselves aware to other people’s opinions and perspectives.

Romeo and Juliet // 16 Personalities

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a wide range of characters with very different wants and fears come into play. Despite the play being set in the 1300’s, the way the characters behave can be compared to figures in the modern world. Using Myers Brigg’s 16personalities.com, we are able to narrow down a character’s personality type and compare them to people in the real world.

For this assignment, I chose Mercutio. His character strikes me as very strange, as he craves being the center of attention and thrives on his flamboyancy- yet his opinions do not parallel his actions. Mercutio does not believe in true love nor dreams, but definitely acts like someone who has their head in the clouds all the time. After answering the questions on 16personalities.com (to the best of my ability) as if I were Mercutio, the results show that he is an ESTP (Entrepreneur).

“Entrepreneurs always have an impact on their immediate surroundings – the best way to spot them at a party is to look for the whirling eddy of people flitting about them as they move from group to group. Laughing and entertaining with a blunt and earthy humor, Entrepreneur personalities love to be the center of attention” (16personalities.com).

This is the first paragraph on the Entrepreneur personality description page, and I think that this is spot-on in terms of describing Mercutio. In the play, he is always the entertainer. He’s always seen fooling around with Romeo, Benvolio, and the rest of the guys- making double entendres and joking around, whether the situation is appropriate or not. A lot of jokes come out of other people’s expense, “An old hare hoar, And an old hare hoar, Is very good meat in lent / But a hare that is hoar / Is too much for a score,  When it hoars ere it be spent” (Act 2, Scene 4) in order to make the other guys laugh. From this example we see him picking on the nurse (who is just a stranger to him), showing that Mercutio will go to great lengths and possibly get in trouble as a consequence to his inappropriate behavior, but none of this stops him. In the 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio is shown dancing around the streets at night and making a scene along with his jokes. Even though at dark the streets are empty and quiet, he makes noise despite him potentially having to face repercussions. He doesn’t just tell jokes, he makes a show- and draws a crowd.

“Theory, abstract concepts and plodding discussions about global issues and their implications don’t keep Entrepreneurs interested for long. Entrepreneurs keep their conversation energetic, with a good dose of intelligence” (16personalities.com).

Another aspect to Mercutio that we see often in the play is his opinion on dreams and true love. When Romeo talks to his friends about the dream he had last night and how he thinks it’s fate, Mercutio mocks him by ‘dreaming up’ an imaginary character and story about a love fairy. By doing this, he teases Romeo about his view on true love as well. “True, I talk of dreams, Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy, Which is as thin of substance as the air / And more inconstant than the wind, who woos / Even now the frozen bosom of the north, And, being angered, puffs away from thence, Turning his face to the dew-dropping south” (Act 1, Scene 4) shows the reader exactly how ridiculous he thinks dreams are; he doesn’t hold back and try to be sensitive even though he knows Romeo is a dreamer. Bluntly stating his opinons on dreams furthermore supports the fact that Mercutio is ESTP “Emotionally charged situations are awkward, uncomfortable affairs, and Entrepreneurs’ blunt honesty doesn’t help here” (16personalities.com) as in the quote stated earlier, he doesn’t seem to care much that Romeo has the exact opposite opinion and that he might hurt his feelings.

Mercutio is a funny, over-the-line performer, able to make anyone laugh with his edgy-style jokes. However sometimes he can go over the line and tease people about their true aspirations and insecurities, consequentially hurting their feelings. He’s not afraid, however, to sacrifice someone’s security/comfort (including his own) to put on a show.

https://www.16personalities.com/estp

Romeo and Juliet // Act 2 Response

Based on our readings so far, do you agree or disagree that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is one of “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love’”? Why or why not? Why or why not? Provide two pieces of textual evidence.

Based on our reading thus far, I believe that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is not that of two infatuated children. After Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time, Romeo is still lovestruck and wants to see her again. To do this, he climes over the Capulet walls and finds Juliet on her balcony. They exchange words and Romeo offers to swear that he loves her truly. Juliet refuses his offer “Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be / Ere one can say ‘It lightens'” (act 2, scene 2, page 5). From this we can see that Juliet is aware that they had just met; she is saying that him promising something is way too sudden and that he hasn’t thought enough about what he’s about to promise. She knows that what she feels is fast compared to the time that they’ve known each other. From this we can infer that she doesn’t often rush into things. She doesn’t just look at guys and swoons over them any chance she gets. Juliet is aware that this is weird and rationally shouldn’t happen, but her emotions are taking over her consciousness. A task that Juliet sends Romeo to complete is something that demonstrates Romeo and Juliet’s commitment to each other. Instead of allowing Romeo to swear and promise on his word, Juliet sends Romeo out to essentially plan the wedding details and get back to her  “[…] Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow / By one / that I’ll procure to come to thee / Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite […] ” (act 2, scene 2, page 6). If Romeo and Juliet weren’t truly devoted to each other and had full intentions to get married, Romeo wouldn’t put as much effort as he does trying to make their wedding happen. If they are really “‘infatuated children’ engaging in ‘puppy love'”, I doubt that they would even be considering marriage in the first place. These characters aren’t to be under-estimated as unintelligent, they were written to display caution and thought behind their dialogue. It’s a story based on miracles and one in a million chances. If they aren’t really in love, it makes the story less whimsical and heart-wrenching, as they die in the end out of ignorance and not devotion.

To what extent is Kulich’s argument that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children effective, or even historically accurate? Do some brief online research to back up your claim, providing links/citation to your research at the end of your response.

I agree that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children, as they are legally allowed to get married. Even though Shakespeare wrote his version of the play in the 1500’s, Romeo and Juliet is set to take place during the 1300’s. During this time, people aged and died far more quickly, shortening their lives and thus shortening the time period in which they could have children to carry on their bloodline. At the time, the legal age for boys to get married was 14, and girls 12 (with their parent’s consent). In the modern world, little trust is put onto pre-teens and teenagers as they are often seen as too juvenile to handle any pressing task. However, in the 1300’s, boys could enter university at age 14 (girls could not go to university until the 1900’s), which compared to the modern age would technically deem that 14 is considered adulthood. Based on how fast teenagers were expected to mature in the middle ages, I agree that Romeo and Juliet should not be viewed as children, but more realistically as young adults.

 

http://nfs.sparknotes.com/romeojuliet/page_86.html

http://www.historyextra.com/article/feature/love-and-marriage-medieval-england-customs-vows-ceremony

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Romeo-and-Juliet

http://cdalebrittain.blogspot.ca/2015/08/teenagers-in-middle-ages.html

In-depth #1 // Intro post

Another year has passed!

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since my first in-depth. It seems so surreal that I’m already halfway done my last year of TALONS, and I’m planning to make the most of my opportunities while I’m here.

This year for in-depth I’ve decided to focus my time on music production and the process of song writing in the industry. As you may know (or may not know) I really like music. It’s one of my many burning passions. While finishing last year’s in-depth I thought that learning to play the guitar would be a good choice for this year. However, I ended up teaching myself over the summer and taking guitar 11 in school during the first semester, rendering my previous plan virtually useless to me. I mean sure, I can always improve my skills and learn new chords, finger picking styles etc., but there are some things that you can learn yourself and some things you can’t. I want to learn more about producing techniques and become a truly independent musician. When I listen to music, I want to recognize sounds and understand what people mean when talking about making a song.

In terms of my mentor, I haven’t secured one yet, but I have some leads and potential interests (I will get a mentor this year!). I asked Ms. Mulder, who referred me to Mr. Salisbury, who referred me to Mr. Morris. He then referred me to one of his musician friends, who’s name is also Samantha! She is an awesome drummer and I expect to be in contact with her very soon.

Some specific goals of mine for this year’s in-depth are:

  • Being able to produce a beat and make a song using an audio editing software.
  • Understand how notes relate to each other and develop a keener ear for music.
  • Combine my current playing skills with what I learn and create a full track.

I personally don’t think I’m setting the bar for myself too high. Maybe I’m over-estimating myself, but I’d like to think that if I work hard enough over the next 5 months I’ll be able to accomplish all my goals and create something I’m genuinely proud of and develop skills that I’ll carry throughout my life. I mean, isn’t that what in-depth is about?

ZIP Document of Learning #3

Over the course of developing my ZIP product, I’ve encountered a number of obstacles I’ve had to (sometimes painfully) work through. Here’s a compiled list of the largest set-backs I’ve encountered thus far during my process:

Not being able to find artist’s quotes

The product I decided to make for ZIP was 3 info graphics, each comparing 2 songs in the same genre. Each info graphic has quotes from the artist, and compares my thought on the song’s lyrics based on it’s popularity on the chart. However, I had a particularly hard time finding quotes from the artists about some of the songs. Apparently some artists do not conduct ANY interviews, making it extremely hard for me to collect all of the insight and information that I needed. This made it difficult to finish my product, as I already had information and quotes for the other songs that I could be comparing to. I decided in the end to make a box for the songs that was either a quote to offer more insight into the song, or a fact about the song’s popularity/records that it may have broken on any charts.

Photoshop difficulties

To design and make my products, I used Photoshop for the entire thing. Info graphics in particular take many layers as there are a lot of text boxes to convey the information. This was especially true for me, as I stylized my text along, background, quote boxes etc. with the theme of my info graphic. This quickly made my computer lag and freeze when trying to re-size objects. I rarely faced the problem in the past, as my computer was built to handle these kinds of things. It got to a point where I was afraid Photoshop was going to crash while I was working on my project. Even thought i usually like to keep all layered un-rasterized (meaning not turning text into pictures, shapes into pictures etc. allowing all of the layers to still be editable after they’re made) I was forced to combine all the layers for my background and lyrics into one flattened image. Another issue I was having was space. I originally anticipated that each of my info graphics would be a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and that I could print them out for each quad to see up close while I was doing my presentation. I quickly realized that this wasn’t nearly enough space for my to insert all the quotes, lyrics, and information I had gathered on each song. I expanded my canvas to twice the width, thinking I could still print out each info graphic but have it on two pieces of paper instead of one. This wasn’t effective either, as I still needed more space. I kept expanding my canvas by halfs until I could barely squeeze in all of my thoughts and information. The final result was a weird size that if printed would be way too small to actually read on paper. I decided that instead of handing out a copy of each of my info graphics to each quad, that I would just analyze one of them briefly during my presentation. This ensures that I can elaborate on anything I want and explain the points in more detail, and it saves the fact that I don’t have a colour printer anyway.

Google slides and Google docs

A recent problem that I’ve had with all forms of the Google drive family, is that saved work disappears. It was fine at the beginning of the school year and over the summer, but I recall this happening to me while working on ZIP last year as well. My troubles with Google drive does not end here, because for some reason I cannot upload any photos to Google slides successfully either. This was a really huge block for me, as I rely on Google drive for all my documents, in and outside of ZIP. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait for the problem to solve itself, as I needed to work on my presentation as well as my product. I used Power point instead, which works fine as an alternative. The thing that worries me the most though is forgetting my USB when I need to present.

 

Even though I have faced these three major setbacks and more, I still have high hopes for my project as it looks as good as I could have hoped it to right now.

ZIP Document of learning #2

This class for ZIP I learned a valuable thing about how I subconsciously decide to percieve lyrics. Because of the question that Mr. Morris asked us to reflect on during class (What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself during ZIP today?), I have realized that I only decide to view lyrics by how I connect to them through my past experiences. I’ve never consciously decided to look up the artist’s intention for the songs meaning, nor do I ask people their opinions of a song. I realize that whatever I believe the lyrics mean in a song is the only way I decide to look at it- like I’m stuck in a bubble. Even though this by no means invalidates the meaning I derive from a song personally, I hope that this project will help me in terms of seeing other people’s viewpoints and how their life experiences change the meaning of a song for them. It is by recognizing my faults that I hope to improve in English, school, and my life.