The End Justifies the Means


Mr. Morris


17 April 2018

The recent removal of Confederate statues in America have sparked controversy and a far-right wing riot in Charlottesville lead to extreme consequences of riots and millions of dollars of damage. Similarly, in Canada, the controversial debate of whether statues of the first Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald’s removal should be undertaken from the public has arisen. Known as a Father of Confederation by many Canadians, yet others view him as an architect of genocide. Yet due to his contributions to nation-building and progressive qualities considering his time period, Macdonald’s name and likeness should remain in public institutions and he should be remembered for his actions.
John A. Macdonald was both a great nation-builder and statesman. In order to achieve his dream of uniting Canada from coast to coast, he “worked steadily at completing the assembling of almost the whole of what is now Canada, adding the vast lands of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Rupert’s Land and the Northwestern Territory, in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873 and, finally, arranging the transfer to Canada by Britain of its huge foothold and claim” (Symons). In his lifetime, Macdonald managed to create the world’s second-largest nation by land mass. Not only that, but he brought together a collection of nations under his government. However, his task became even more difficult as he hoped to reconcile the English and the French-speaking communities of Canada. Macdonald once said, “I have no accord with the desire expressed in some quarters that by any mode whatever there should be an attempt made to oppress the one language or to render it inferior to the other” (Symons). He spoke out against those who intended to restrict the use of French or altogether eliminate it. Despite the cultural differences in this new nation, John A. Macdonald fiercely defended and maintained the view that Canada could have two official languages. Macdonald’s work as the first Prime Minister created a bilingual Canada and ensured his legacy as a statesman.
In spite of John A. Macdonald’s contributions to Canadian confederacy, criticism has arose for his discriminatory policies against Indigenous peoples, and how this reflects negatively on current Canadian values. However, Macdonald did extend a hand to the Indigenous communities and provide help to them. At the time, Macdonald commented that his government had “done all [they] could to put [the Indigenous] on themselves; [they had] done all [they] could to make them work as agriculturists; [they had] done all [they] could, by the supply of cattle, agricultural implements and instruction, to change them from a nomadic to an agricultural life. [They] had very considerable success; [they] had infinitely more success during [their] short period, than the United States […] had during twenty-five years” (Macdonald 1885). Agriculturalism is traditionally a mark of a more advanced society, and also provides a more reliable food source for the Indigenous peoples as well as technological advances. At the time this would have been more than fair, considering how other colonists at the time felt about non-white Canadians, and the natives’ way of living. With these factors in mind, Macdonald was particularly tolerant for his time period and did all that he could under his circumstances.
Macdonald united Canada from coast to coast, but recent claims of racism and Indigenous genocide have prompted people to call for his removal from the public sphere. However, his creation of a new nation and progressiveness for his era make him a figure worth remembering and honouring for decades to come. His dream of a nation bordered by three oceans blue, lives on as an extension of his legacy.

In-Depth Week 11: Coming to an Understanding

Since the last post, I met with my mentor once, as it was quite difficult to meet over the spring break since I was volunteering both weeks and there was the Easter weekend too. But I was assigned a more challenging song which I practiced a lot over the past couple weeks. It’s a famous song in China, and it’s supposed to mimic the beating of a drum. Yuwen and I are still trying to decide what song we should play at In-Depth night, but I’ve made good progress in the third book, learning many new techniques, such as covering the bridge of the guzheng to produce the drum beating sounds.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

My mentor provides me with many hands-on opportunities to play the guzheng and lets me try a lot of things by myself. She has also given me many challenges in the form of new pieces with an influx of technical aspects and tricky rhythms to work with.

  1. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

I think that I can continue to practice, but I should also consider watching performances of other guzheng players. If there are any concerts anytime soon, I’ll go attend and learn more about how to perform. I can also try going on YouTube to find recorded performances and see how it’s done by the professionals. Even better, I could ask my mentor for tips.

  1. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

There are many opportunities that I could take, such as discussing more in-depth with my teacher. I could also start recording lessons or taking audio clips to figure out where my mistakes are.

  1. When you get together what do you talk about?

Of course, when we get together, my mentor and I talk about the guzheng and what piece that Yuwen and I should play for our performance. We also talk about new techniques to be learned. Sometimes, we also discuss Chinese culture when we talk about pieces and where they originated from.

  1. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

Right now, I think I’m understanding my mentor a lot better, and I’m beginning to see that she wants us the two of us to be really self-directed, which is good in some respects. But I also think that there’s actually a lot of communication that could be improved on, and more guidance to be given. I feel rather unsatisfied with our current relationship, but as somebody who is inferior to my mentor and there be language barriers, I can’t express myself which is slightly frustrating.

  1. What are you learning about one another?

I think my mentor is learning more about my temperament and how I respond to challenges. As for me, I’m discovering that my mentor has a very relaxed approach to teaching, and that she prefers for Yuwen and I to have a hands-on experience where we try a lot of things by ourselves.

DOL #2 – The Battle of the Plains of Abraham

What effect did the Seven Years’ War and Battle of the Plains of Abraham have on Canadians?


Why is this an important and significant question to ask about the past?


It’s important to know more about the Seven Years’ War and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham because it was a pivotal moment which decided Canada’s future. It also established the British hegemony in North America, which lead to many other events such as the American Revolution.

This event is also very important because it influenced Canada’s creation and identity, especially within Quebec where the Francophones reside. Though New France was given to the British, the Francophones were permitted to stay. This lead to a majority of those living in Quebec speaking French, and Canada becoming a bilingual country.

Why did your researched events happen the way they did and what were the consequences?

Great Britain ended up winning in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham because of the actions of General Wolfe, and how he told the men to hold their fire at first. However, though the British occupied Quebec, their position was not secure. This lead to the Battle of Sainte-Foy, where positions were reversed, and the British were forced to retreat. The British and the French reached a stalemate, then British reinforcements arrived and the French were forced to surrender Montreal.

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


What happened at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham was fair by the standards of the time. Both Britain and France were seeking to conquer new land and monetary gain for themselves, which was normal. This culminated in a battle between these two powers, in which the British emerged triumphant.

However, by our current values and standards, the expansion of these European powers cannot be considered just. The British evicted Acadians living in the present day Maritime provinces and while New France was built on top of land which indigenous people had already been living on for thousands of years. In our modern day world, this would not be acceptable.


What conclusions can you reach about your question, based on the research you conducted?


The Seven Years’ War, particularly the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, had a huge effect on Canadian history. It serves as the basis to the modern day bilingual Canada, as both French and English are spoken in the country, particularly in the province of Quebec. It affected Francophones living in Quebec in the 1760s the most, as their land was taken over by the British. The French ceded their possessions to the British with the Treaty of Paris in 1763, though the French Canadians were given freedom of worship and were allowed to emigrate if they so wished.

Treaty of Paris



Postnationalism and Canadian Identity

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.

D-Day, specifically what happened at the eighty-kilometre stretch of Juno Beach, is a very significant event in Canadian history and plays an important role in shaping Canadian identity. It occurred on June 6, 1944 and turned the tide in favour of the Allied powers’ victory during World War II. This event connects to the political aspect because Canada aligned itself with the Allied forces. After months of planning and training, the attack was launched under the command of the United States General Dwight Eisenhower. As the French civilians were liberated, one Jean Houel recalls seeing soldiers in their British styled uniforms and cheering, “Here they are, the [English] Tommies.” But one soldier corrected him proudly in French, “je suis Canadien.” Houel was surprised to meet someone who spoke his own language. The French continue to remember the sacrifices the Canadian Armed forces made; there are several memorials, including a Canadian War Cemetery and a private museum called the Juno Beach centre in Courseulles. On June 6th, the people living in the villages along Juno Beach parade through the streets with maple leaf flags. This ties into the social aspect, as the French recognize what the Canadians have done for them and continue to be thankful. This event also took its toll on Canada’s economy because it was the largest invasion fleet in history, with seven thousand vessels of all types. Not to mention the numerous supplies necessary for this operation. It affected the environment in Normandy as artillery launched a barrage on the beach, which was set on fire afterwards. German bunkers were destroyed, and the environment was heavily altered by all the gunfire.

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 think that Juno Beach serves to form a more cohesive Canadian identity, because the soldiers had a united goal to liberate France from the German defenders. It shows Canada’s continuous struggle for peace, and willingness to help its allies, Britain and America. As well, it maintains the Francophone aspect of our identity as Quebec soldiers fought on D-Day and they spoke fluently with the French civilians. Canadian forces have intervened in many conflicts, including ones as dangerous as the Rwandan Genocide. These peacekeeping missions, though dwindling, still continue on today. 130 Canadian personnel have sacrificed their lives during peace missions, but this number pales in comparison to the 340 lives lost at Juno Beach. Out of the British Army Group, Canada suffered the most casualties of any division during the Battle of Normandy. Though the Canadian soldiers were outgunned, outmanned, and outnumbered, they won against all odds, advancing against the best troops that the enemy had. Many soldiers were young and inexperienced, but this just shows that Canadians have the courage to keep striving for peace.


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?

Trying to force all Canadians under one collective identity to capture our diverse traits is both difficult and unnecessary. Canada is home to some of the most diverse cities in the world, such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. So many immigrants and refugees are welcomed into Canada every year, and Indigenous people have been here even before the French and British colonized of Canada. Even just looking around the TALONS classroom, there are people of all different nationalities. And our world, in a sense, is growing ever smaller. With global platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram taking over, it is entirely plausible for people of different countries to interact and freely exchange ideas. Slowly, as different cultures merge and blend, things like identity start to blur together and become unclear. Now, Canada can move away from trying to fit into a stereotype and towards a more global view on nationalism. Earth becomes more and more compact with every technological advancement, but Canada only continues to expand.












In-Depth Week #7: Continued Mentorship

Last week, I couldn’t attend class due to the heavy snowfall, but I had a meeting with my mentor this week. However, even so, I was assigned a harder song to play than anything I have seen before this week. It touched on a few new techniques, such as playing octaves in a way that you need to press to get the correct tone. As well, the rhythms were significantly harder, with more dotted eighth notes and sixteenth notes.

My biggest struggle has been with rhythm, as it always has been throughout my endeavours in music. This acts as an inhibitor to my learning. It’s often harder for me to grasp concepts without seeing and hearing my mentor play it first, and this was the challenge I had it last week when I didn’t meet with my teacher. As a result, I ended up playing a lot of the song incorrectly and had to relearn it this week. Rhythm is often what gives a piece flow and joins together the melody in a musical way.

The thing that I’ve actually gotten a lot better at is tuning the guzheng. I think that the more I play and learn about the guzheng, the more my ears become attuned to the tones. I remember that last year Mr. Jackson mentioned that when he tunes his guitar, he imagines what the wavelengths look like in his mind. After that, I tried visualizing it myself and coupled it with what I already know about music and found that I could discover out-of-tune notes much easier. I have also been watching how my teacher tunes and found that very fine adjustments are good enough. Tightening the strings too much creates a very off pitch sound. It might not be a strategy that works for everybody, but it works very well for me.

Communication is a key factor in a mentoring relationship, and recently I’ve noticed that it’s been weakening between my mentor and me. Though there is a language barrier, my mentor teaches younger children than me who are less skilled in Mandarin, so this is not a factor limiting communication. But my mentor often leaves the room to check on other students for prolonged periods of time. As it is a group lesson, it is understandable, however I feel that she is not giving me sufficient guidance. For the next few weeks, I will try to ensure that there is stronger communication between us, and that more trust is built. Specifically, I’ll do this by asking more in-depth questions, and asking for clarification when I know I need it.

All in all, I’m well on my way to the final performance and I am looking forward to it! If everything continues in this fashion, Yuwen’s and my performance will be very successful.


the significance of your name.

What is the story of ­­­­your name. (a novel)?

This book is a secondary source, and it was written by Makoto Shinkai in 2016 as a novelization of his animated film. It was released June 18, 2016 by the Kadokawa corporation one month prior to the film’s release. The English release was licensed in May 2017. I received the book in September 2017 and wrote my independent novel study on it.

This source was very obviously influenced by the film of the same name, and the novel only adds to the experience. It gives deeper insight into the two protagonists’ wants and fears. As Makoto Shinkai was writing this book, he was also greatly influenced by the movie’s score composed by the band RADWIMPS. Originally, he thought that your name. worked best in animated form, but while listening to the soundtrack he found himself wanting to write it. He wrote the book both at home and in the production studio, which could have affected the way he wrote it.

This source is something which has changed my life greatly. The beautiful yet simplistic writing style perfectly complements the movie and the soundtrack can be heard as you’re flipping through the pages. Although the stunning visuals of the movie have been critically acclaimed, I find myself coming time and time again to the novel form, revisiting my favourite scenes on paper. I think it’s a very fantastic story of two people desperately reaching for each other in a huge world.

Makoto Shinkai has written many stories with the same theme of boys and girls passing by each other in beautiful worlds, and your name. is no different. With this experience, he was able to create something with a similar theme yet completely unique storyline. Alongside his production team, they made a movie which was targeted towards teen audiences in Japan, though it ended up becoming widely acclaimed in many countries around the world. Knowing his audience well, Shinkai took a heartachingly beautiful story and adapted it to film and as a novel.

From examining this source, it is apparent that I have a keen interest in your name. It may also be inferred that I enjoy Japanese culture. It also shows the difference between how modern Tokyo is as compared to the countryside that the deuteragonist lives in. I think it extends what I know about Japan and life there, as well as what I know about the two main characters. It still leaves a lot to be desired, such as what really happened after the book and what happened to the secondary characters. If I ever got the chance, I would love to ask Shinkai what happens after the ending, though I know it’s already the perfect ending to this novel.


What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/ By any other word would smell as sweet.


Historical Thinking: new Socials Studies Semester

How can history help us to live in the present?

The most important question to be considered is how history can help us live in the present, because it directly relates the past to ourselves. As said by the German poet Goethe, “he who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand-to-mouth.” Goethe was someone who was very learned, and he was able to apply his knowledge to his lifestyle. Somebody living from hand to mouth does not have the time to consider the past or make ethical judgements about people of the past. There are also repercussions for past actions that need to be considered. And using the past as a springboard, we are able to make more informed decisions so as to not repeat history. Using this question as a guideline for this year’s Social Studies class will create challenging questions regarding morals and allow for a very interesting class.

In-Depth post #3

This week, I moved up to the third book of guzheng. The pieces increased in difficulty, as to be expected, but I’m still keeping up. So far, this project has been going swimmingly.

I was assigned three new songs, and I have been working hard on them. I don’t have any recorded audio yet, but I’ll continue to improve on these songs. Most of the new techniques are building on ones that I already know, so once I understand the concept, it’s pretty easy to master the technique. My mentor was very impressed with my progress so far.

  1. What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

What went very well last week was the way my teacher taught the lesson. She taught me the techniques, made sure I knew them, then let me practice on my own for a bit. After that, she checked in on me and confirmed that I had mastered it.

4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

The lessons  were fun, but they still had some challenges. At times, the communication wasn’t very effective due to a language barrier. My Mandarin isn’t very good, so it was hard for me to convey what I wanted to my teacher. On the other hand, my mentor’s English isn’t the best, so a compromise had to be made, and I thought it might be good to brush up on my Mandarin skills as well.

5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

Three strategies I can use for future meetings include taking notes during meetings to remember the techniques better. I can also make sure there is better eye contact between my mentor and I for open and honest communication. And lastly, I will make sure that I come prepared with more questions to ask her.

As for the next two weeks, I’ll continue practicing for the final performance and keep working hard!

Tybalt, Prince of Cats

Throughout all of Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt is referred to as the Prince of Cats for his feisty attitude. He is outgoing, energetic, and a risk-taker, which makes him an ESTP-T, or Entrepreneur who is turbulent. Upon hearing Romeo’s voice at the Capulets’ party, Tybalt says, “Now by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin” (1.5 57-58). For Tybalt, rules do not matter very much, and he is willing to take risks. He misses the bigger picture and the consequences that would arise from him killing Romeo in the spur of the moment. Moreover, Tybalt is shown to be insensitive and unstructured. When Tybalt meets Romeo in the square, Romeo overlooks him calling him a villain, but Tybalt responds with, “Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries that thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw” (65-66). He challenges Romeo even though the Prince has threatened those who duel with death. In this sense, Tybalt lives for honour and very much in the moment. Tybalt lives life on the edge without deeper thought into the consequences like an ESTP.

Romeo and Juliet response

  1. 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? Provide at least two pieces of textual evidence.

In William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the love which they engage in cannot be called that of “infatuated children engaging in puppy love.” Despite her youth, Juliet proceeds with the relationship in a careful manner, telling him, “I have no joy of this contract to-night. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden” (2.2 116-118). Juliet is not impulsive, or childlike in her actions; rather, she dislikes Romeo’s sudden appearance underneath her balcony. She proceeds with caution, knowing what she is getting herself into. Romeo as well, though he seems a playboy and a flirt, is very serious on this matter. He tells Friar Lawrence his intentions, saying, “I’ll tell thee as we pass; but this I pray, that thou consent to marry us to-day” (2.3 63-64) Romeo has the intention to marry Juliet, and in his time period, divorce would have been very difficult. He loves her so much that he wishes to marry her the very next day, and in 14th century Verona this would’ve been a lifelong commitment. Romeo and Juliet are making conscientious decisions well aware of the consequences that lie ahead of them.

  1. 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.

Kulich’s argument about how Romeo and Juliet should be viewed as mature adults proves to be historically accurate. In the 14th century, girls were eligible for marriage at the age of 12. All that was needed for the couple to not be related, consent to be given and the marriage vows to be clandestine, exchanged in public or in front of a priest. However, this argument proves to be somewhat ineffective, seeing as the original source material The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet, translated by Brooke, was adapted by Shakespeare to emphasize certain themes. For example, Juliet’s age is reduced from 16 to 13 to make her seem more vulnerable and youthful. Brooke’s version had Romeo and Juliet married for several months before Tybalt died, causing their separation. Shakespeare condenses these months into a mere four days, making it seem as though Romeo and Juliet childishly rush headlong into their untimely deaths. Though Kulich’s argument stands from a historical standpoint, it may have been Shakespeare’s intention to make it seem as though Romeo and Juliet are merely “infatuated children.”


Anon, (2018). Marriage in 14th Century England. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Jan. 2018]. (2018). About Romeo and Juliet. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Jan. 2018]. (2018). Marriage in England in the fourteenth century » The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale Study Guide from [online] Available at:’s-Prologue-and-Tale/30/2014?jump=h2-4 [Accessed 23 Jan. 2018].


*I know it seems like I might’ve disagreed with myself due to the discrepancies in the first and second paragraph, but I wanted to see this from all points, and not let my own opinion influence the second answer too much.