In-Depth – The Final Stretch

Good progress has been made since the last in-depth post! Yuwen and I have each picked a song that is around 1 minute long so as to not surpass our allotted performance time. My song is from a fairly recent Chinese drama, and it can be roughly translated to “One who chases the light,” and Yuwen’s song is from a drama based on her eminent person’s life, and the translation for this song’s title is “Blank Stele.” We’ve started practicing these two pieces, but there are more technical elements that need to be added to spice up the songs.

I’ve made my way through a few more songs, including the Flower drum song, and I’m learning more about controlling my tempo and managing a faster and more consistent rhythm. I’m focusing more on improving current techniques rather than learning new ones, which will be helpful for our performance. I’m about halfway through the third level, which is not quite as fast as I hoped I would be, but I think that my progress has been consistent lately which is very good. There’s been success in my pieces as I’ve been practicing harmonies.

One challenge that always seems to crop up is that I have a rather skewed sense of tempo. I speed up at parts which are easier, and struggle through parts that have more difficulty. I’ve been trying to work through this by using a metronome or tapping my foot to help keep myself on beat. This has been actually working pretty well, so I guess I could call it a success.

Another challenge was definitely finding the right song. The first song I thought of was “Fairytale” by Guang Liang, which is one of my childhood favourites. However, I soon discovered that the song sounded too much like a vocal melody and switched gears. Eventually I remembered my current choice of song, which I had listened to upon a friend’s recommendation. After playing it through I found that it was definitely workable.

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.












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.

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.

360 degree Leadership

Throughout our lessons with John Maxwell about 360 degree leadership, I can say that I’ve learned a lot of challenges leaders face, and myths those in the middle believe. The challenge which stuck out to me was the Ego challenge, because being in TALONS with so many talented people means that it’s easy to get buried under everyone else’s ingenuity. But applying the techniques described by John Maxwell, I can still lead to the best of my ability. I can lead consistently within my leadership project and guide the 9s to success. I should focus on my own duties, which is to help make our vision a reality, and mentor the 9s so that they can continue this event and teach it to the new grade 9s, and so on, and so forth. I will also appreciate the value of my position: I am able to talk with the other 10s as well as act as a mentoring figure towards the 9s. Like this, I think that through my leadership project, I will be able to overcome the Ego challenge.

ZIP log #1

Today I did some basic research on the features of graphic novels, and read a graphic novel for reference. The book I read is called Noragami, or Stray God in translation, and it is a comedy with the basis being the old Japanese concept of there being millions of gods. However, the story is based around the lowest-ranking god who does odd jobs at the price of 5 yen. It is a very interesting example of a graphic novel, and it exemplifies many key components of graphic novels, such as an effective use of the gutter and emanata to show their disgust at Yato, the protagonist. My reading tied in with the different features I had researched at the beginning of the block. This was where I got the basic research from. I also took some notes to help me keep these things in mind. 

Components of a graphic novel

  • Voice overs
  • Borderless panels
  • Emanata
    • Tear drops, sweatdrops, or motion lines used to portray emotion
  • Splashes
    • A panel which is the width of the page
    • If it runs entirely off the page it is called a “bleed”
  • Speech bubbles
  • Icon
  • Panels
    • The framed image
  • Gutters
    • The space between panels
    • Readers need to infer what happens between the panels
  • Style
  • Narration
  • Colour
  • Graphic Weight
  • Time
  • Foreground
  • Midground
  • Background
  • Camera Angle
  • Transitions


Noragami (Stray God)

  • Comedy interspersed between seriousness and action
  • Action to action, subject to subject, scene to scene (transitions)
  • Based on the old concept of there being millions of gods
  • Modern day fantasy setting
  • Concept of the nearshore and farshore, the line between death and life
  • Exposition: sets the scene showing how Yato operates. Introduces a side character before the main character