In-Depth post

Time for another in-depth post! This time, me and my mentor mixed things up a bit, so let’s just get right into it!

During our last meeting, my mentor and I went kind of crazy with the song learning and started practicing tons of different songs. The idea behind this was to help me practice other chord transitions and explore more possibilities for my final project. We spent the whole night flipping through different tutorials and trying out new techniques, while also having a blast. A memorable moment was when my mentor insisted that we try learning country roads, to which I then spent some time explaining to him how “country roads” was a meme, and what memes are. It was a really engaging, somewhat difficult, but a fun meeting. We ended up covering at least 13 songs during the meeting.

As for my final presentation and goals, I have modified them to be more achievable. My initial goals were to be able to easily read music, and play the guitar comfortably, being able to hear out songs and play them without much construction. I was also expecting myself to play far more the chords and be able to somewhat do simple guitar solos. Needless to say, I was grossly overconfident. I underestimated how difficult it would be to learn how to play guitar and then practice becoming proficient at it. Although I have continuously practiced, I am just now starting to master basic chords. I have decided that by the end of this project, I want to be able to play the chords for a collection of songs, with small melodies here and there. Simple melodies that don’t last longer than 5 seconds. Narrowing my goal down will let me stress a bit less about my progress, and focus more on my final presentation, which is now more achievable than before.

How to Have a beautiful mind:

Due to our relatively relaxed meeting, we didn’t actually work that hard on practicing my current songs and therefore didn’t have long conversations where different hats were used to help my learning. However, I can use brief moments within the meeting to exemplify the different hats.

White hat:

We used this when trying to find chord progressions for certain songs. We would both do some research, compare sources, then given the information that we had, we developed our own chord progression through trial and error of the different sources given.

Red Hat:

Used when we decided to break off of chord progression charts for some select songs such as “Elanor Rigby”, in this case, we played different chords, went with what felt right, and bounced off of each other until it felt like we had created our own chord progression without the help of external sources.

Black hat wasn’t used much unless you consider skipping certain songs after deciding they are too difficult for me to attempt a situation where the black hat is used.

Yellow hat not used

Green hat:

Helped me while I was trying to learn a melody section in let it be. I was trying different methods of the plucking section, and my mentor helped me practice the routine and decide which one sounded the best.

Blue hat not really used, as I said, it was an unstructured meeting.

I’m happy to say that with these new goals set in place, I’m now ready to power through to the end of in-depth, and achieve my new plans!

Canada is a Nation

Canada is a nation. To briefly define these three terms, a nation is “a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory”, a country is “a political state or nation or its territory”, and a post-national state is a “Pertaining to a time or mindset in which the identity of a nation is no longer important”. Canada immediately meets the definition of a country, it has a set of regulated borders that mark of a politically distinguished area that is recognized as “Canadian territory”. However, it is under the labels of “nation” or “post-national” that debate begins to spark on Canadian identity. First of all, let me clarify that we will not be defining “nation” by comparing Canada to other nations. Each nation is unique, which in essence, is what makes up a nation. To begin with, Canada is a country with historical common descent. Although there are many new immigrants flooding into Canada of new historical descent, the vast majority comes from the English and French colonists of the new world. Although the Canadian peoples may have arrived in North America on separate sides, we share the same origin point in history and have grown connected to one another since the Confederation of Canada. We thus feel connected to our historical roots, and all stand proud of our peaceful separation from the colonialists, forming modern-day Canada. Additionally, Canada maintains a consistent language and culture throughout history. While there may have been major tensions between Quebec and other Canadian provinces, we still share the common values of “a society where individual rights and freedoms, compassion and diversity are core to our citizenship” (Justin Trudeau). Language doesn’t separate these values, and as shown by Quebec referendums. Quebec citizens “can’t think of this country without Quebec” (Michael Ignatieff), despite their very different internal culture. This goes for all the provinces and nations within Canada. We are all willing to work together in times of crisis and war: “From the outset of the war, the Canadian people have clearly shown that it is their desire to help in every way to make Canada’s war effort as effective as possible.” (Mackenzie King). Therefore, even though Canada is a country built up of many different cultures, I believe us still to be a nation, as we all share the same history and the same common culture and beliefs as all other Canadians.  You can be an American or an Englishman or Canadian and be a Parisian. It’s a very admirable culture, and people want to identify with it. (Whit Stillman)

In-Depth Post #4

Starting to get close to in-depth night! I need to start organizing a final presentation, so I’m trying to recruit somebody to sing while I play the guitar onstage. I need to find a song that generally avoids the F chord, as I have a lot of trouble playing it, and can be sung easily within the human vocal range.  I have contacted a few people to try and see who is willing to work with me, but this is hard to achieve as I am not yet sure what song I will be playing. To be honest, I keep delaying that selection, which I shouldn’t do as the in-depth date keeps getting closer and closer.

With my mentor, I’m basically just repeating the practice I’ve done in the past weeks, to try and perfect my skills. I’m worried that by the time In-depth night comes, I won’t be ready to present, as I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked. I think I need to practice a lot more on my own time if I want to have a chance at properly improving my skills before in-depth.

I haven’t yet fully memorized a song (including the melody notes) like I said I would in my last blog post, so overall, I get the feeling that I am falling a bit behind. Like previously noted, I will practice more at home over the next few weeks, but I am nevertheless worried that my initial in-depth goals might have been too ambitious. I will update these goals and have a new set of goals I will begin to work towards by next week.

How to have a beautiful mind:

How to listen:

I think that one of the most important elements of listening is putting aside your own beliefs briefly and keeping an open mind to the person you are listening to. Many times, people won’t listen to things such as debates or discussions because they will not be willing to accept other’s beliefs and budge from their own. Therefore, they will somewhat deafen themselves to the other person’s point of view, which can make listening very hard. You need to take yourself out of your own shoes briefly, and try and take their point of view, ask fishing questions, and when it is your turn to speak, then you may voice your own opinion.

How to ask questions:

It’s very important to walk into a mentorship meeting with a brief list of questions that you will ask during the meeting. Personally, I find that if I don’t record these questions before entering the meeting, they will slip my mind as I’m trying to learn new things, and I’ll only remember them after leaving the mentorship session. When asking the question, you need to make sure there is a lot of space for creativity and personal opinion in the answer. What I mean by this is that if you had a question that could be answered with a simple yes/no, there isn’t much value in asking your mentor, unless it’s very relevant to the moment. Questions like this could be answered through the comment. What you want to instead do is ask questions that regard your mentor’s personal opinions and values, as this will overall give you the most in-depth insight from your mentor, and its how you will benefit the most from asking questions.

In-class write

The connection between Romeo and Juliet is a case of puppy love. According to the Cambridge University Dictionary, the exact definition of puppy love is a “romantic love that a young person feels for someone else”. Google’s definition says it is an “intense but relatively shallow romantic attachment, associated with adolescents”. We know that Romeo is 17, and Juliet is 13. Going by the exact definition of the dictionary, it appears as if this is indeed a case of puppy love. It is shown to be very sudden and intense, which matches the google definition, and is between two people of a very young age, one of which has barely become a teen. I suspect that this is a case of strong infatuation towards one another, not a case of true love, where there is a deeper connection. We can see this shallow point of view almost immediately from Romeo when he first sees Juliet. “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” (1.5.52-53). Romeo’s immediate reaction to seeing Juliet is commenting on her beauty and looks, and from there he draws the conclusion that he had never loved somebody as intensely as she. This is suspicious, again, we see a reference to the definition of puppy love, it is an “intense but relatively shallow” form of love, where Romeo seems to only love Juliet based off of his looks. From Juliet’s point of view, we have less evidence of a shallow attachment to Romeo, but we still have evidence of an overly intense love at a very young age. “But my true love is grown to such excess, I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” (2.6.32-33). Juliet is saying how she loves Romeo very intensely, and the amount of love she feels for him is indescribable. Intense, and at a young age. All of the evidence we have been given from the text suggests that Romeo and Juliet is, in fact, a case of puppy-love, as both Romeo’s and Juliet’s traits match the descriptions perfectly.

Kulich is disregarding human biology in her claim that Romeo and Juliet were considered adults, and therefore they aren’t a case of puppy love. She claims that because you were considered an adult at the 14, before world war one and two, that therefore all people around and over the age of 14 would act like adults and should be treated as such. This simply isn’t the case. Human biology has remained mostly unchanged over the past thousand years, and there is no reason to believe that a 14-year-old in the Elizabethan era would have different brain structure than any 14-year-old today. Their brains were just as undeveloped as ours were right now, and although they may have been considered as adults, they were still children biologically and mentally. Because the brain determines our emotions and feelings towards others, an undeveloped brain, therefore, means impaired emotional reactions, and an incomplete understanding of human relationships. Our estimates show that the human brain has remained mostly the same since the dawn of modern homo sapiens, 1,200 million years ago. The only major change since then was 12,000 years ago when the human brain significantly shrunk. Otherwise, we remain the same beings as the humans that inhabited the Earth 400 years ago. Kulich’s claim is as nonsensical as claiming that if a 2-year-old was considered an adult, it would, therefore, have a strong understanding of romantic love. The claims have no basis in fact and draw upon outdated societal norms that did not understand human biology or much science at all. Therefore, I conclude that Kulich’s argument is invalid, doesn’t maintain any evidence other than outdated beliefs, and shouldn’t be taken into consideration when discussing whether Romeo and Juliet’s relationship was an example of puppy love or not.

Works cited:

In-Depth #3

Another two weeks passed, and more progress made! I had two sessions with my mentor since my last blog post. During these two sessions we worked on:

  • Practiced the basic chords again, and added a more complicated chord called the “F” chord
  • Started working on multiple new songs, including “Hotel California”!
  • Perfecting strumming and picking techniques
  • Memorizing notes on the fretboard

Now let’s go a bit more “in-depth” with some progress examples:

The F chord is a super complex chord to play, at least for beginners. It requires you to do a mini bar across the top fret (where you cover multiple strings with the same finger), and then use all your other main fingers other then your thumb across the rest of the fretboard. My mentor can play this chord with ease, but as a beginner, my fingers keep accidentally resting on and muting other strings, making the whole chord sound off. I am continuously practicing this chord though, as it is a major part of many of the songs I am currently practicing. Songs such as “Hotel California”, where the F chord is played many times during the verses and the chorus.

I am also well on my way to memorizing all the notes on the fretboard. This will make it possible for me to play simplified versions of almost any melody from any song, as long as the melody isn’t too fast. I am constantly doing exercises to speed up my strumming and picking technique.

I plan to have fully memorized at least one song in the next two weeks, and to already begin preparing my final presentation method.

How to have a beautiful mind:

How to be interesting:

While working with my mentor, I started having a lot more casual conversations with him, as I was getting to know him much better, and vice versa! We began talking about different elements of guitar in a more casual manner, and about our own personal lives as well. An example of this would be when I started asking my mentor if there were other alternatives to playing the infamous F chord. “What if I played a different F note along the same string, would that still give the same result?”. I also try and spark discussion about debatable topics about different guitar techniques, to try and figure out if there is a way for me to learn guitar better, and to keep us both interested!

How to respond:

Generally, when working with my mentor, I like to immediately test out his ideas and strategies, to confirm or deny them. For example, I want to always check a strumming technique he gives me, to see if it actually does work. If it does, then we have solid proof of his method working, and I can give him positive reinforcement for being correct! If not, then we can begin to work through it together, and see what part of the technique I didn’t yet understand, or what part of the explanation he didn’t clarify enough. This again allows us to stay engaged and interested in the lesson and creates better teamwork and cooperation between us.

In-Depth Blog post #2

In-Depth Post #2

So, I’m 3 weeks into my project.

I have encountered a lot of difficulty in finding a mentor. I have emailed community centers, music studios, local bands, and other organizations to see if any instructors would be willing to mentor me. Nobody emailed back from these groups. I then realized I could use the website “meetup” (which I had been using for my invasive plant removal leadership project) to try and get in touch with local guitar circles. I have sent out many texts on the website, and surprisingly got a plethora of answers! Unfortunately, those who were available to meet had their groups scheduled at the same time I had extracurricular activities. All others were also willing to mentor me, but at absurd rates such as $100 per hour. Of course, I didn’t accept these mentorship offers, so I had to make a last-minute decision that I would have a family friend teach me guitar, even though he isn’t a professional.

My mentor’s name is Bogdan. He is a close friend of my parents and used to have a lot of experience in music. He played violin in a music university for seven years and taught himself many other instruments on the side, such as guitar. During my first session with him, I learned all the basic and essential chords on a guitar and started learning the tune to multiple different songs. I learned that with 9 basic chords, I would be able to play along with almost every mainstream song, and I’m currently trying to learn “Chasing Cars” by applying what he taught me. I am planning to meet with him every week from here on.

Apart from my struggles finding a mentor, I have made lots of progress in learning and practicing guitar. First of all, I am taking the Getting started with Playing Guitar Udemy course online, taught by one of the top 5 instructors online. I am doing at least one lesson per day and I am very quickly growing comfortable with my guitar. I am also practicing daily a new chord strumming technique I have found in the hopes of increasing my speed over time. If I continue to practice this routine 10 minutes per day, I will be able to play fast enough to play complex songs soon. After this Udemy course, I have another one planned, AND a third if I get the time to do that one as well, so I have plenty of online content that will last me for the rest of the project.

I am also planning to meet with a friend of mine that goes to the university transfer program at UBC, as he is very skilled in musical composition, and he can begin to teach me basic music theory so I can create my own music. He can share his knowledge with me, as he is already a certified music tutor.

Finally, I have learned how to read tab format music sheets for guitar, which means that if I have the skill needed to play a song, I will be able to play it following the music sheet.

Below I have 2 videos. One from my first week of in-depth, and one from now. These will show the current progress of my guitar skills.

How to agree

During my time with my mentor, I tried to keep my mind open as much as possible, as he was obviously more professional than me, and knew a lot more about both the theory and the practice on the topic than I did. At one point, I was positioning my fingers wrong on a chord, and he showed me the correct way of placing my fingers on the fretboard. I listened to him without hesitation, as I instantly noticed how much easier playing became when I took his advice and began playing with the proper finger arrangement.

How to disagree

Sometimes it is necessary to disagree with your mentor, or someone that has more knowledge than you, simply because they may have a false trust in their own beliefs and knowledge because they are more professional than you, but in reality, you may understand the concept better from a fresh point of view. This can open your mentor’s eyes to possibilities they had not yet noticed, or other correct points of view that they had not yet considered. During this practice session with my mentor, I had no disagreements with him about my in-depth, but as I learn more and more, we will no doubt have disagreements about certain aspects of playing guitar, and it is important that we solve them through respect and listening to one another’s points of view.

How to differ

Differing is a natural part of human nature. Everyone will have their own preferences, and ways of doing things. It is important to recognize the discrepancy between disagreeing and differing. Generally, when you disagree, someone will have the right opinion, and someone will have a wrong opinion, this will be sorted out through conversation. Differing however means that both people have a correct opinion, and they need to learn how to accommodate their separate points of view. For example, I use slightly different finger layouts on the fretboard than my mentor does. But after doing some research, we realized both methods are viable, and it’s a matter of personal preference. This distinction allowed us to keep working efficiently together, while I still used a method that felt more comfortable to me.

Final ZIP post

My inquiry question is how to can use different language tools and strategies to create more effective debate arguments and rebuttals. My question remained exactly the same, as I feel like it was a question with good size and depth, that wouldn’t take me too long to learn, but also could require further research if I was still interested. I think that during the planning phase of zip, I did very well choosing an inquiry question that would suit my project well.

During the course of the inquiry, I learned multiple valuable skills that could continue to develop me as a student. First of all, I learned a lot about public speaking. This is super important to me, as ever since eminent night, I haven’t been confident in my public speaking abilities anymore, and I’ve found myself to be less and less confident when talking in front of a group. It may be a case of fear of failure, but I feel like I no longer have the confidence I once had. This project has allowed me to work on my public speaking skills and begin to improve them again in the hopes of recovering my confidence. Second, I have learned a lot of persuasion techniques, most of them stemming off logos, ethos, and pathos. I’m beginning to realize how important those three terms are in English in general, and how strong of an impact they can have in persuasive writing and speaking. Finally, I have managed to begin winning debates against my friends by learning these skills, so that’s always fun 😊.

The answer to my inquiry question comes from two different places. One, you must always use Logos, Ethos, and Pathos to form good arguments (you also need to have a strong structure, but that’s common in all forms of English). Second, you must understand how you can use your opponents’ arguments against them and create powerful rebuttals. This can be done by exposing fallacies, using fallacies, or finding inconsistencies or flaws within facts in the argument.

My final learning artifact is not physical, but rather a demonstration of my learning. I do have a short script that I will be submitting, but my final product is a debate with people in the class. Now I have some pre-set debate topics if the guest doesn’t know what they want to debate about, but otherwise, I will be just having a debate with them, and making comments about debate structure and strategies. My chosen curricular competencies are: Respectfully exchange ideas and viewpoints from diverse perspectives to build shared understanding and extend thinking, which I will be demonstrating during the debate sessions. Assess and refine texts to improve clarity and impact, which I have done in my research for the pre-selected debate topics, and Use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create engaging and meaningful texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, which is also shown in my prepared debate topics, which I will be submitting.

I used this website many times to learn debate and argument formats, an get inspiration for my own arguments.

Taught me a lot of strong and effective ways to dismantle a persons argument and rebuttals through exposing their use of fallacies.

Was a very accessible and easy to understand source of information early on in the project, was accustomed to my learning style as I am a mostly visual learner.

Taught me some basic debate formats, that I then used to create my own speed debate format.

Personally, this inquiry has driven me to try and explore debate further and find the real world applications of debate. Like, how can I use debate in my future career? If I go to politics (just an example), debate will be very important in all my day to day work. But how can debate be used effectively in the office? Or in job interviews?

In-Depth Intro (Featuring a Winston Churchil cameo!!!)

This year for in-depth, I have decided to finally attempt to learn a musical instrument, despite my laughable musical skill. I hope to reach a point where I can confidently play it, and at the time of writing this post, I can play twinkle, twinkle little star! But I can tell it will be a very steep upwards climb, that I am nevertheless willing to take.

I have a few main reasons why I want to try learning guitar. First of all, I want to create a new pastime for myself, when I don’t have anything else to do. Usually I would go read, play video games, or talk to friends, but I really want a new hobby that wouldn’t require me to stay in front of my laptop many hours per day, to help my brain development and just create some self-control. Music can also be a wonderful tool to destress when I am being swamped by a task, or multiple tasks. Instead of procrastinating until I’m out of time, I can give my mind a quick break, play some relaxing songs, then hop back onto the computer to continue my work. Music can have very strong effects on my mental state and mood and being able to play it would allow me to directly control my stress levels and could be a very valuable tool in the future. I would also love to learn music as a social activity, where I could meet with other players, and make new friends. The music community is very large, and there would be no shortage of people to meet and interact with. Finally, I really want to create some kind of musical talent within myself, as I feel horrible that my passion for music has absolutely no outlets. I want to be able to express myself through music, and because I don’t have a good singing voice, and my piano skills are just as bad, I’m hoping guitar will allow a new outlet.

For my mentor, I am sending emails to the Port Moody Arts Centre, and multiple musical studios around the community to try and get in touch with a mentor. My only worry is that if I am getting a mentor from a studio that gives payed lessons, they may only accept mentorship IF they get payed If that’s the case, then I will have to find an alternate source of a mentor, such as a parent or friend of a family within talons.

To end off my years in TALONS, I’m determined to achieve my goal, to learn the guitar. Last year was my warm up, but this year is the home stretch, it will be one of my last chances to explore an area of interest within talons, and possibly even my life, as my schedule will only get busier as I get older. I will accomplish this goal. “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” Winston Churchill claims. I will prove him right, despite my massive lack of skill in music, I am determined to make my final in-depth work.

ZIP blog post #3

“Reflect on your inquiry question and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. What do you now know that you didn’t know at the start of the inquiry?”
“How can I use different language tools and strategies to create more effective debate arguments and rebuttals.” This was my initial inquiry question. Going in, I thought of debate as a kind of dance battle, where two opponents carefully choose specific moves to try and show dominance and outdo the other’s moves. I was always astounded by the hidden layer of twisted statements and rebuttals, which made debate super captivating to watch and perform in. However, as I have begun to progress more and more, and gain more knowledge, I am beginning to uncover something new. Where before I thought that most of the strength came from the argument, and the rebuttals just granted justification for your initial point, I realized that debate is much more focused on the rebuttal instead. Yes, having a strong structured argument is essential, but its what comes after that truly defines the victor. Carefully laying traps four your opponent, while trying not to fall into theirs, and doing your best to de-validate their stance, so yours seems like an obvious better view. In a way, debate is a lot more like judo then a dance. The point of judo is to use the enemy’s power and punches to throw them off balance and take them down. Debate is very similar. While you need to be strong, and good at throwing punches, your victory stems from your ability to completely decimate your opponent’s punch.

Zip Document of Learning #2

“Related to your learning evidence, what have you done to make retrieving information easier or more effectiveness in class”

A strategy that I have begun to develop and am trying to test for the first time in this project is instead of studying tips, facts, and bulk information about the topic area, I am now trying to study from direct sources. For example, I have been finding debates online, then studying the different arguments and rebuttals made by both sides. This allows me to get a more in-depth understanding of the argument by observing and eventually recognizing patterns and trends, I train my mind to immediately distinguish them, and use them or argue against them if needed. This method of research requires a lot more time and patience on my part, as I need to slowly practice recognizing these patterns over and over again. In a way, it reminds me of riding a bike, you can learn how to ride a bike by reading about what you need to do with your balance, legs, etc., or you can learn the proper skills by watching people ride their bikes, learning the movements, and then slowly beginning to practice them yourself. Sure, it’s a harder, longer and more tedious process, but the end result is of higher quality, and you finish off feeling a lot more accomplished and proud of yourself.