TALONS: Final Words

June 21, 2017

I am writing this blog post one day before the last TALONS school day, and I have to say that I am feeling a wide variety of emotions right now. In some ways, I feel relieved, for the years in TALONS have been very stressful at times, but in other ways, I feel melancholy about facing the end of the program.

I’m not going to lie, TALONS was a rough journey for me. However, now that it is coming to an end, I am starting to realise how much I have learned from the TALONS program and how much I will truly miss the times I had in the TALONS program.

Thank You, and Goodbye 

I would like to take this time to thank all of the teachers that taught me so many important lessons throughout my time in the program.

I would like to thank Ms Mulder for teaching me the importance of the autonomous learner model, and for teaching me about time management and the importance of keeping organised.

I would like to thank Mr. Jackson, for teaching me about the bigger ideas in life, and for helping me to develop a love for the study of history.

I would like to thank Mr. Salisbury, for teaching me that sometimes sleep is more important than studying, and for making math actually fun.

I would like to thank Ms. Dingle for teaching me the importance of presenting my learning in various ways, both creatively and analytically. 

Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Albright, for teaching me the importance of learning to laugh, and for providing me with guidance on how I can improve my writing.

I would also like to thank my classmates, and the grade nine TALONS students, for all of their support and love, and for motivating me to keep on going!


Overall, I am heartbroken to say bye to TALONS, but hopefully, the future has good things in store for me!

With lots of love,

Sydney

TALONS Social Studies: Final

June 21, 2017

To conclude my time in TALONS Social Studies, I will be sharing my final project with you.

This final project consists of a three-part theme statement, as well three art pieces that I created to represent each part of my theme statement. In this blog post, I will also be sharing the areas of Social Studies in which I believe improved, and the areas in which I would like to work on.

Theme Statement

The development of my theme statement was not an easy task for me. As someone who is very detail-oriented and analytical, developing a theme statement for Social Studies was an assignment that seemed near-impossible at first.

Thankfully, I had the chance during class to talk to my wonderful and thoughtful friend, Renee. When I told her about my struggles to develop a theme statement, she asked me a series of questions. The conversation went something like this:

Renee: Why do you want to do well on this final?

Myself: To get a good grade and succeed in high school.

Renee: Why do you want to succeed in high school?

Myself: To go to a good university.

Renee: Why do you want to go to a good university?

The conversation continued until I came to the conclusion that all that I do in my life is fueled by the need to have a better future and the need to be happy in my future.

With this conclusion and the help of Mr. Jackson as well, I developed my three-part theme statement.

  1. Humans are driven by the need for a better future, which often involves the increase in power, status, and wealth, for individuals or the groups that these individuals represent.
  2. The idea of a better future is decided by indivduals based on perspective. A person’s morals and values, of which are influenced by the upbringing and culture, sculpt their perspective.
  3. Varying perspectives result in conflict.

Presentation 

After developing a theme statement, I moved on to brainstorming ideas for my method of presenting my theme.

The first thing I thought of was to write an analytical essay and break down the theme statement and provide various pieces of evidence for my theme. However, I realised that this method of presentation was something that I do often and am comfortable with.

That is why I decided to challenge myself by creating three art pieces to represent my theme. I decided to do different kinds of overlay art with thread, plastic, and cut-out words. I placed the various overlays on top of photos from the book Polaroids from the Dead by Douglas Coupland.

Final Product

1. Only Human 

The first piece that I created represents my first theme statement. Below, I have written part one of my theme statement in a simplified form.

1. Humans are driven by the need for a better future.

85b32732-734c-42d9-9c7f-6d1a1184fd5f

In this piece, the words represent immoral values and one idea of a better future. The words were cut out from the same book that the photo was found, and placed like a fridge-magnet poem.

The skeleton in this piece represents death. The rectangles in the back are buildings, which represent civilisation.

The basic meaning of my piece is that immoral values result in death and that these immoral values were influenced by the culture of our “civilised nation.”

2. Perspective(s)

The second piece represents the second part of my theme statement:

2. The idea of a better future is decided by individuals based on perspective.

socials-2

This piece is an interactive piece, where the layer of plastic with the thread can flip up to show the photograph on its own. The image with the thread represents the first perspective, and the image without represents the second perspective.

The first perspective represents the idea of a better future for Aboriginal peoples. The green thread represents forest, while the wings represent a totem pole.

The second perspective represents the idea of a better future for people who want/wanted to make the world more “civilised,” such as John A. Macdonald.

3. Conflict Rising

My final piece represents part three of my theme statement:

3. Varying perspectives result in conflict.

c1e2488e-ded5-41d5-a654-044254aec371

This piece shows two different colours of thread, red and blue, which run in opposite directions. The two different threads represent the varying perspectives, while the first rising, represents the conflict that is a result of these clashing perspectives.

The colours of the thread quite literally represent the Conservatives (blue) and the Liberals (red).

This piece was made with regards to what we learned in Social Studies quite recently, about the “pendulum swing” between the Conservatives and the Liberals in Canadian politics.

The Three Pieces

As you can tell, the meanings behind my three pieces are quite literal. This is partly because I have never been a very artistic person, and felt that when I looked at art pieces I was trying very hard to find a deeper meaning behind them. This often hurt my brain and so, I wanted to make my pieces easier to understand, especially for people like myself.

Additionally, I wanted to make my pieces literal because I wanted to express my theme statements in a bold and unapologetic way.

Social Studies: Skills

Now that I have completed my final pieces, I wanted to do a public reflection of my time throughout Social Studies and the skills I have developed and would like to further work on.

What I Have Improved

I believe that I have improved in the following areas:

1. Completion of summative assessments

Evidence:

  • I was able to develop an effective theme statement that represents many aspects of Socials Studies.
  • I was able to present my theme statements in a comprehensive way through various art pieces.

2. Creation of digital artefacts

Evidence:

  • I created effective documents of learning throughout the semester and can see visible improvements regarding my research and thought process throughout the semester through these documents of learning.
  •  I published products of my learning on my blog and described them in a concise and comprehensive way.

What I Would Like to Improve 

I would like to improve in the following areas:

1. Participation in class discussions

Reasoning:

  • I believe that I can work on being more vocal in class discussions. Although I often feel uncomfortable sharing my opinions in front of large groups of people, I believe that I should learn to be more bold and unapologetic, just like my final art pieces, when it comes to speaking in class discussions.

2. Taking time to reflect

Reason:

  • For my final project, I placed the words “willful rejection of reflection,” on my first piece. As I was doing this, I realised that throughout the semester I was not very dedicated when it came to reflecting on myself and the work that I did. Although I completed all the self-reflections that were assigned to me with a great amount of thought and care, I believe that I can improve by taking the time to reflect on myself even when I am not directly assigned to do so.

Overall, I have to say that I am quite satisfied with how my final project turned out, and my performance in Social Studies this year. I learned so much while participating in class discussions, researching for documents of learnings, and representing various characters in role-plays, just to name a few.

I would like to end off by thanking my classmates and Mr. Jackson for teaching me so much about history, powerful ideas in life, and about myself.

– Sydney

The Golden Spruce: Final Project

May 24, 2017

For my final project for The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant, I created three pieces that incorporated words and symbols.

socials-1
The first piece is a representation of Grant Hadwin’s natural skill for logging. The red colour on the blade of the axe represents the blood of the tree that was unknown to Hadwin at the time. Within the axe, the text shows quotes from the book about Hadwin’s extraordinary skill.
socials
The second piece shows a needle, which represents the period of Hadwin’s life in which he was most likely struggling with a mental illness. Within the needle, I wrote phrases from the book that expressed Hadwin’s view on the logging industry after a turning point in his life. I expressed the overall view with one word, “destruction,” that has been written in the blue.
socials-3
The third, and last, piece represents a tree stump, which represents the Golden Spruce after it was cut down by Hadwin. The text within the stump was written in a fridge magnet poem style and expresses the Hadwin’s rage towards the logging industry during this time. The first and last sentences are written in gold because of their relevance to one another, and how they can be read together, without the text in between.

Overall, I had a lot of fun creating these three pieces. I have always been more confident with my writing rather than my ability to draw, and so it was enjoyable to step out of my comfort zone through this project but also stay within it.

The Golden Spruce: Blackout Poem

May 7, 2017

Through this post, I will be sharing the blackout poem that I wrote with the use of page 17 from the book, The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant.

Shaped like a teardrop

but even with its strange message

would have been easy to miss

surrounded by a shadow

would have seem far-fetched at best

The image that I chose to accompany this poem can be found below.

trees
Image source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7666/17929541328_4fdc5364de_b.jpg

Through my poem, I wanted to represent someone who is suppressed and unheard. Someone who is covered by the shadows of others.

I believe that this photo represents this meaning well because it is in the perspective of someone looking up to something greater than them; beings that seem far-fetched.


I hope you enjoyed reading my poem. What I have shared through this post is one way that I have interpreted this poem, but feel free to look at this poem in a different perspective as well.

– Sydney

In-Depth: Learning and Creating

April 14, 2017

Another two weeks have passed, and here I am writing one of my last In-Depth project posts. I cannot believe the amount of time that has gone by since the beginning of my project. During this time, I have learned and created so many important things, and am planning on continuing my learning and creating during the next month, as well as throughout the rest of my life.

My passion for interior design sincerely spoke to me this year through this project and I am happy to say that I believe the skills that I have been learning through this project will be applicable throughout my life.

In today’s post, I will be sharing my progress report, information about my mentor, in relation to How to Have a Beautiful Mind, as well as the goals I have set for the rest of my project.

Progress Report:

Throughout the past two weeks, I have mainly been working on making small changes to my floor plans, and the creation of my mood board.

My mood board has changed significantly from the one that I created a couple of months ago. This is because the vision I have for my room now is quite different from the vision I had at first. Despite this, my current mood board follows a similar colour scheme, with shades of blush pink and white.

In addition to this, I have been thinking about the artwork that I would like to display in my room. I have gone on various shopping trips; however, I am currently finding it quite difficult to find the perfect art pieces, and frames. One purchase I made was a painting that is currently leaning against the wall of the dressing area of my room.painting

I love this painting because it matches the vision I had for my room and is big enough to fill the space that I once thought of as “too empty.” I believe it works perfectly with my dressing area because of the high-fashion look the painting has to it. This painting was given to me as a gift from my dad.

I would also like to begin looking into printing photos that I have taken with friends to incorporate in my room because I believe it would add a personal touch, and create a bedroom that is a perfect space for me.

During this stage of my project, I have also been thinking about how I would like my learning centre to look for In-Depth night. I have decided that I would like to display my mood board in a large frame, for I see it as a very important aspect of the creation of my room, and would like to highlight it. In addition to this, I would like to display my floor plans, along with photographs of my, hopefully, completed room.

How to Have a Beautiful Mind: Concepts and Alternatives

Concepts

My mentor and I discussed a variety of concepts at our previous meeting including:

  1. Personality
  2. Minimalism
  3. Unity

Personality was discussed because my mentor and I were speaking about the importance of understanding the client that an interior designer is designing a space for because that space should be personal to that client. This is when the idea of displaying photographs of my memories in my room came up.

The second concept of minimalism was discussed when my mentor said that “less is more” when it comes to design. This is an important concept because as a designer, you do not want to clutter a space. It is often better to keep things minimal while having one focal point in the room that draws the eyes of the viewer.

The third concept, unity, was discussed as my mentor and I was talking about the overlying view of a room and how it should appear. Unity gives a room a sense of oneness. It is where the different pieces of a room come together to form an image together and compliment one another.

Alternatives

One of the main alternatives that my mentor had provided me with was the option to create a 3D model of my room by hand, with materials such as styrofoam and cardboard, instead of using a computer program. She provided me with this alternative idea because I was struggling to use the program that she had introduced in the beginning. We both thought that it would be a better use of our time to focus on the floor plans, and the creation of the actual room, than to spend time trying to learn the program. I hope to return to learning to use the program during the summer; however, for my In-Depth project, I am planning on creating a tangible 3D model because I believe that it will be more fun for me to create and also elevate the interest level of my learning centre for In-Depth night.

If my mentor was someone different, I believe that they could have also provided the alternative of having more meetings so that I could work one-on-one with my mentor to learn the program. Despite this, I believe that the alternative that my mentor provided me with was the most effective for our situation because it would have been difficult to meet more frequently, especially for a smaller portion of the project.

In addition to this, my mentor provided me with alternatives to save money throughout my project. For example, when I was told that a drawing board would be useful for my project, although I was hesitant to say, I let my mentor know that it would be difficult for me to buy one due to financial reasons, especially with the money that it will cost to buy the furniture pieces for my room. The alternative that was provided was to work on a flat surface with sharps edges that I could use instead of a drawing board for the creation of my floor plans.

With a different mentor, I believe that other alternative could have been provided; such as, the recommendation to buy a used drawing board for cheaper, or borrowing one that my mentor had no need for anymore only for the duration of the project. Despite this, I still appreciate the alternative that my current mentor provided because she showed respect and understanding towards my financial situation.

Goals

With only a month and a bit left of my In-Depth project, my main goal for the next couple of weeks is to maximise the learning and creating that I can do along with my mentor.

I would like to gain the most out of this experience by putting in my best effort to complete my mood board, floor plans, and 3D model in preparation of the actual application of my design to my room,

Another goal that I have is to completely finish my room before In-Depth night. Hopefully, this goal can become a reality to a certain extent with the financial support from my parents as well as from the money that I have saved up by working as a waitress.


Overall, I am very satisfied with the experiences that my In-Depth project has brought me so far. I have learned so much, created so much, and plan to do just that until In-Depth night and beyond.

I hope you are looking forward to seeing my completed project during In-Depth night!

Until next time,

Sydney

Document of Learning: America’s Conflicts, Canada’s Unification

April 5, 2017

Throughout the past month, the class has read many articles, discussed various concepts, and produced creative works, all in hopes to gain a better understanding of the process that created the Dominion of Canada; a process that we call Canadian Confederation.

In this document of learning, I will be sharing my research and findings on my personal inquiry,  which is guided by the question:

“How did conflicts outside of Canada influence that way in which Canada became a united nation?”

In order to answer this question, I will be sharing ideas about the influences that the United States had on Canadian Confederation through the War of 1812 and the American Civil War.

My main goal for this document of learning, and my personal inquiry, is to gain a deeper, but also broader understanding about confederation, and how other countries have influenced the way in which Canada became Canada.

Prior Interest 

Before Social Studies 10, my interest and knowledge on Canadian history were very limited. This is mainly because I perceived Canadian history as boring and uneventful. Although my views on Canadian history have changed significantly now that I have more knowledge about the subject, often times, I find more interest in learning about the bigger picture, and how Canada, during this time period, fit into the puzzle piece of the world. This process is more interesting for me because it allows me to learn about other nations, as well as our own.

This is the reason why I chose the inquiry question that I did; to allow myself to look at the bigger picture, and learn more about other countries during this time period, in this case, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Research: Influential Learning 

By researching two different conflicts that occurred closer to the date of Canadian Confederation, I hope to gain a better understanding of the influence that American and the United Kingdown had on confederation.

United States vs. Britain: The War of 1812

Description of Event:

The War of 1812 was a military conflict in between the United States and Great Britain that took place from 1812-1815. The cause of this war was mainly due to the problems that occurred when Britain and France took away economic sanctions from the United States during the Napoleonic Wars. Due to Britain’s practice of impressment, America’s economic trade was ruined, causing outrage among Americans.

This military conflict officially began on June 18, 1812, when Congress declared war against Britain and began to attack the British colonies in Canada. Their main reasons for attacking Canada were to gain land, but also to prevent British supply lines to Tecumseh’s Indian confederation.

The War of 1812 ended December 24, 1814, when the Treaty of Ghent was signed. This treaty returned the relations in between the United States and Britain back to the same way as they were before the war. This means that the United States neither gained nor lost any territory. In addition to this, the issue of Britain’s impressment went unaddressed.

With the end of the War of 1812, brought a new sense of nationalism among Americans. This is because Americans consider the War of 1812 as their “second war of independence,” and a war that they had “won.” However, it is important to understand that during this time, America was not much of a concern for Britain, since they were fighting their own war against France until 1815.

Impact and Importance:

The War of 1812 is an important historical event for Canada because fighting battles against the United States created a sense of unity among Canadians.

In an article published by the National Post, and news reporter named James Careless, interviewed Ron Dale and wrote about his findings below.

“Before the war, ‘none of the people in these British colonies felt any sort of affinity for anyone from the other British provinces,’ said Ron Dale, Parks Canada’s War of 1812 bicentennial manager. The American destruction of life and property — resisted equally by settlers, British troops and native warriors — bound them together into a new group who began thinking of themselves as Canadians. ‘Having faced a common enemy, it gave them a common feeling that they had all suffered under similar circumstances,’ Mr. Dale said.”

– James Careless

With this, we are able to understand the impact that the War of 1812 had on Canada, in a psychological aspect. If this war had not taken place, Canada may not have become the Canada that we see today.

North vs. South: The American Civil War 

Description of Event:

The American Civil War, taking place from 1861-1865, was a war between the Union and the Confederate States of America. The main reason for the war was because of the differing opinions that the North and South had on slavery and it’s economic consequences. While the North was fighting to protect the Union, and also to end slavery, the Confederacy was fighting for slavery.

The division in between the North and South began when Abraham Lincoln was elected as president in 1860. Lincoln’s goals were to abolish slavery and declare everyone as free. This claim threatened the wealth and way of life of the people in the South, resulting in the states of the South leaving the Union and creating the Confederacy in between 1860 and 1861.

The war began on April 12, 1861, when the Confederate artillery fired the first shots against the Union.

In 1863 with the tide of the war noticeably shifting to the Union’s favour, the American Civil War officially ended on May 9, 1865.

Impact and Importance:

The American Civil War plays a very important part in the beginning of Canadian Confederation.

With the war creating tension across the whole continent, and the threat of the war making American invasion on Canada more likely, it became clear that Canada needed a way to be more stable.

In addition to this, with economic concerns, regarding the withdrawal of trade deals in Great Britain and America, added to the mix, colonial unification became a topic of great discussion.

In an article published by Historica Canada, a non-profit organisation based in Toronto aiming to educate people on Canadian history, and written by an author named John Boyko, it was written,

“Canadians and Maritimers were also aware of the threat of the United States annexing or invading them because of its popular idea of Manifest Destiny, which said that the United States was destined to own all of North America. All of these factors had led Canadian and Maritime politicians to consider strengthening the small, weak colonies by joining them into a bigger, richer, more defendable unit.”

– John Boyko

By reading this article, I was able to gain a better understanding of the American Civil War and the impact it had on Canada, in both a psychological and economical aspect.

Conclusion

What are my findings?

Through my research, the answer to my inquiry question has become more clear.

Question:

“How did conflicts outside of Canada influence that way in which Canada became a united nation?”

I believe that the conflicts that occurred South of Canada influenced the way in which Canada became a united nation mainly because of the psychological impacts it had on Canadians.

The War of 1812 influenced Canada because it created a more unified group. Before the war, people living on the land that we now call the Dominion of Canada did not consider themselves as Canadians, but rather as British colonies. With this war, these colonies became more, psychologically united, shaping Canada for confederation in the future.

The American Civil War influenced Canada because it created fear among the British colonies. The colonies knew that if America were to invade, they would not be able to survive by standing alone. With this fear and increasing need for stability, the idea of confederation took over Canada, leading into the unification of the colonies.

Why are my findings important?

The findings that my research and inquiry have resulted in are important because they allow us to understand the importance of one’s psychological being and the impact that one’s psychological being has on their actions. In addition to this, it allows us to understand that when individuals’ psychological beings are united, a unified, and stronger, group is able to be created.


Overall, this document of learning allowed me to learn many new things about Canadian Confederation as well as conflicts that occurred in the United States during the 1800’s. Also, it allowed me to learn an important lesson about the importance of one’s psychology.

With this in mind, I would like to take my personal inquiry a step further in the near future by researching conflicts that took place in the United Kingdom, since my post mainly focused on conflicts that occurred in America, and see how Great Britain influenced Canadian Confederation. I would also like to identify whether the influence that Great Britain had on Canadian Confederation was more psychological or economical.

Works Cited 

Boyko, John. “American Civil War and Canada.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., 02 Feb. 2006. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
“Canada A Country by Consent: Road to Confederation: American Civil War (1861-65).” Canada A Country by Consent: Road to Confederation: American Civil War (1861-65). N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
History.com Staff. “War of 1812.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
History.com Staff. “American Civil War History.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Inc., Spotvin. “IdentityWar of 1812.” War of 1812. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
Marsh, James H., and Pierre Berton. “War of 1812.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
McCord, Joel. “Who Won The War Of 1812?” WYPR. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
News, James Careless Postmedia. “War of 1812: Canadian identity developed in the crucible of combat.” National Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
“The Civil War.” HistoryNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.
“The War of 1812 shaped Canada forever.” Thestar.com. N.p., 17 June 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

In-Depth: During the Break

March 31, 2017

It is the week after spring break, making it the perfect time to write about my In-Depth project. During spring break, I was able to make a lot of progress with my project in terms of the tasks that I must complete, as well as my relationship with my mentor.

In today’s blog post, I will be explaining some of the tasks that I have worked on over the course of spring break, and also sharing a conversation that I had with my mentor, in regards to the six hats, from How to Have a Beautiful Mind. I will also be sharing my reflection on the month of March, and the goals that I have for the month of April.

Progress Report 

During spring break, I was able to complete quite a few different floor plans due to the increased amount of free time that I was given. The floors plans I created include my concept plan, electrical plan, and furniture plan.

For the concept plan, I created two different sketches because I wanted to experiment with different ideas, which is something that my mentor and I had discussed previously in one of our meetings. The reason why it is effective to create a variety of sketches is because sometimes the best ideas are hidden in the sketches that are least logical. In the end; I chose to implement the second concept sketch that I created.

As for the electrical plan, I only created one sketch because the plan is not idea-based but rather fact-based. This is because the electrical plan shows the arrangement of lights and power outlets in the room. This plan was one of the easier plans to create because it did not require much creative thinking; however, the plan was still really fun to sketch out because I was able to learn a variety of symbols that I did not know about before.

The final plan that I created over spring break was my furniture plan. Similarly to the concept plan, I created two different sketches for this plan because I wanted to see what different ideas that I could come up with for the layout of my furniture pieces. In the end, I decided to go forward with the furniture plan that I had created first, and my room is currently starting to take shape around that plan.

In addition to the plans that I created, over the break, I went on various shopping trips. During my shopping trip with Renee and Weijin, I purchased a beautiful map of Paris, that matches the colour scheme of my bedroom. Although I have not yet purchased a frame, I hope to use a wooden frame. I believe that this map will be a perfect addition to my proposed gallery wall.

I also went furniture shopping with my dad. Although I did not purchase anything new on this trip, it helped me to be inspired and develop a shopping list of items that I will need to purchase for the completion of my room.

Here is the list that I have created.

  1. White, queen-sized duvet
  2. Pillows
  3. Lounge chair
  4. White filing cabinet
  5. Wall decorations, including art prints and frames

My dad will be providing the money to buy the filing cabinet and the duvet; however, I have decided to pay for the rest of the items myself. This is somewhat problematic for me because I am unsure if I will be able to cover all the costs. Hopefully, I will be able to stick to my budget and purchase all the items that I need before the end of this project.

flower-2

During spring break, I had to say goodbye to Vanessa, a valued member of the TALONS program, and a loving friend. Before she left, she gave me a letter and dried flowers that would match my room. I have incorporated the dried flowers as a decoration piece for my room. This piece lays above my wardrobe and in front of my mirror. Thank you, Vanessa ♡.

The SiHats

Now, I will be writing about my relationship with my mentor, in regards to the six hats concept from How to Have a Beautiful Mind.

Below, I have transcribed a conversation from that meeting that we had last week and have identified which hats are related to the things that we said.

Conversation with Mentor 

Sydney: I finished two different concept sketches during the last week and I was wondering if you could give me your feedback on it. (Blue hat)

Mentor: Yes, of course, let me take a look.

Sydney: I made two different ones like you had suggested because I wanted to see if my second idea may contribute to a better sketch.  (Red hat)

Mentor: I like how you made the sketch really simple because the concept sketch is supposed to be more general. By making the concept sketch more general, it becomes easier for people to take one glance at it and understand your design. (Yellow hat)

Sydney: Thank you, I thought that it would be best to keep it simple because my furniture sketch can go into more details. (Red hat)

Mentor: One thing that you should do is add a closet symbol instead of labelling it as a closet because it will make the sketch look less cluttered and more professional. (White hat)

Sydney: Oh right, thanks for the suggestions.

Mentor: If you go online, you will be able to find a lot of different sources of symbols that are used in interior design, you can use those symbols in your sketches to make them look more professional. You will need to use symbols for your electrical sketch. (White hat)  

30 minutes later.

Mentor: Did you have any other ideas for your room that you wanted to share? (Green hat)

Sydney: I had an idea recently for the corner of my room that’s near my bed but I’m unsure about it right now. (Red hat) I wanted to make it into a reading area and have a comfortable lounge chair, maybe a table that could double as a bedside table and a gallery wall extending from the table to the lounge chair. The problem here is I’m not sure if the corner will look too cluttered compared to the rest of the room if I have my gallery wall there as well. (Black hat)

Mentor: It might be a bit cluttered, but I’m having trouble visualising it right now. I think that the chair and table is a good idea, though. (Black hat) The thing about the gallery wall is it quite easy to move art pieces around when you actually assemble the room together, so if you don’t like it looks in the corner, you could move it to a different wall. (Yellow hat)

Sydney: Oh that’s right. I guess I could also work on some elevation drawings to try to visualise it better, and I could show them to you at our next meeting. (Yellow hat)

Mentor: I think that would be a good idea. (Red hat)

Reflection 

Transcribing and interpreting the conversation above with the use of the six hats has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the conversation that I had with my mentor.

I really appreciate the six hats that have been introduced to me because they have allowed me to think in a different, and elevated, way. By using the six hats during everyday conversations, I have noticed that my conversations are often more engaging, interesting and effective.

March Reflection and April Goals

All in all, I believe March was a very productive month for my In-Depth project because I was able to meet all the goals that I had set for myself in previous blog posts. In addition to this, my mentor and I were able to further develop our relationship through the meetings that took place during spring break.

For April, my main goal is to finish my mood board. I will also be working on my 3D model during this month and hope to have the base completed by the end of the month. In addition to this, I plan to have at least two more meetings with my mentor by the end of April.


Overall, I feel that my project is progressing quite well, and most importantly, I am having a lot of fun with it.

I am looking forward to the experiences that my In-Depth project will continue to bring me during the month of April!

Until next time,

Sydney

Mercy Anne Coles: Charlottetown Conference

September 1, 1864

Dear Diary,

Today it is the first day of the Charlottetown conference and Pa has invited me to attend the conference. I gladly accepted his invitation and I am excited to be a part of something so important. It is unfortunate that the people of Charlottetown do not seem as excited for the arrival of the delegates as I am, for all of their attention is towards the circus that is visiting. I would love to visit the circus as well, but I like to keep that a secret from my friends, families, possible suitors. They expect me to much more grown up than I sometimes believe myself to be.

Well, this was short, but I must go now. There will be many important politicians at the conference and I plan on looking my best for our guests. I will write again at the end of the day with news about how the conference, and the dinner party taking place after the conference, went.

I hope to write again soon.

With love,

Mercy Anne Coles

September 2, 1864

Dear Diary,

I am sorry I did not write again last night, I was so exhausted from the day that I had and so once I got home, I went straight to bed.

The conference yesterday was quite something. I have to say, I was not listening intently during the entire conference for I was more focused on daydreaming about events that may occur at the dinner party. The conference started off in the afternoon with the appointment of officers. The Canadians were at the conference as well. Pa told me that they were only at the conference as observers for the focus of the conference is the Maritimes Union. I spoke to one of the Canadians after the conference. His name was Sir John A. Macdonald, and he was a very pleasant gentleman. I also spoke to George Brown who was very kind as well.

The dinner party, hosted by Mr. Henry Dundas, was the best event that took place yesterday. It was, in my opinion, much more important and enjoyable than the formal conference that had taken place earlier that day. It was a place where we were finally able to properly socialise with everyone During the fantastic lobster dinner, John A. Macdonald came over to speak to me again. I believe that he was flirting with me. I wonder what my dear Pa would think if I told him.

I am excited to attend the second day of the conference today so that I can speak to Sir John A. Macdonald and George Brown once again. I hear that Sir John A Macdonald will be speaking at the conference about his favour towards confederation and union. I wonder how Pa will react to this for I know that he is against it. It’s unfortunate that the two gentlemen that I care for have divided opinions.

Well, I must get ready for another long day. Hopefully today I will be able to pay more attention at the conference. I hear that there will also be a ball in the evening, and I am very excited to attend. Hopefully, a handful of wonderful gentlemen will ask me to dance.

I will write again soon.

With lots, and lots of love,

Mercy Anne Coles

September 2, 2016

Dear Diary,

It is the night after the ball. Ma and Pa have told me to go to go straight to bed, but I cannot seem to do so for my mind is buzzing with all of the events that have occurred today. I must write about it before going to bed, or I may be forced to toss and turn in bed all night long.

The conference itself was much more interesting today than it was yesterday. Sir John A. Macdonald spoke for an hour about his favour for confederation. His words conflicted me because of Pa’s views on confederation. Pa is strongly against it. I am unsure why; however, for Sir John A. Macdonald made it sound like a wonderful idea. However, I am sure that Pa has his own reasons. I wonder if Pa will eventually be swayed.

The evening ball took place after the conference. It was lots of fun and I was approached by many different gentlemen. Sometimes I wonder if they only approach me with political influences rather than romantic ones, in hopes to use me to get closer to Pa. I do not like to think about this too much. Sometimes it is simply easier to choose to be oblivious and just enjoy my life as it is.

Well, I really do have to sleep now, or I will be too exhausted to wake in tomorrow morning. There is yet another day of conferences and social events ahead.

I will write again very soon.

Good night,

Mercy Anne Coles

In-Depth: Effective Planning Provides Great Rewards

March 4, 2017

It has been two weeks since my last In-Depth post, and my project, as well as my relationship with my mentor, has progressed in many positive ways.

Through today’s post, I hope to share all of my advancements with you. This will include a progress update, a summary of my most recent meeting with my mentor, a reflection of my meeting in regards to How to Have a Beautiful Mind, as well as an action plan.

Progress Report

Throughout the past two weeks, I mainly worked on a furniture plan, which I hope to finish by the end of spring break. Currently, I have a couple of rough drafts, as well as some detailed drawings about how I would like certain spaces in my room to look like.

This draft is one of many, where I have drawn out the ideas that I have for my desk area as well as my dressing area.

furniture-plan

This draft will be very helpful to me when I create the finalised furniture plan, for it will allow me to recognise what I like and dislike about the design as well as what changes I will want to make.

With my furniture plan coming together, and a clear(er) idea of what I would like my room to look like, I went on a shopping trip and purchased my very first furniture piece: my desk. The reason why I decided to buy my desk first is because I found that, as a student, it was hard to live without one.

desk

The main reason why I bought this desk is because the surface is made out of tempered glass. Not only does the glass provide a beautiful cool-toned element to the room, it is also very durable for it will not easily get scratched and dirty, which is something that I struggled with when I had a desk with a white surface.

My desk was approximately 400 dollars. Although it was more money than I was planning on spending, I believe that it was a good buy because my desk is what I value most in my bedroom.

I hope that I can soon buy a file cabinet to place next to my desk, for I have realised that I am in need of more storage space for my books and papers due to the lack of drawers on my desk.

On the same shopping trip, I fell in love with a beautiful pink slipper chair which would have been the perfect choice for the reading and relaxing area of my room. Unfortunately, I was unable to buy this chair because of it’s $2,500 price tag.

cb5ffda4-14a5-4350-9f71-11712d2c03df

The main reason why I loved this particular slipper chair was because of the beautiful pink colour as well as the white stitching that added a special element to it.

In addition to my work on my furniture plan, as well as my shopping trips, throughout the two weeks, I have been working on creating an action plan and schedule to ensure that I am able to achieve all of my goals by the end of this project. I will be sharing my action plan with you later in the blog post.

Mentor Meeting Summary

My mentor and I were planning on meeting twice throughout the past two weeks, but unfortunately, we were only able to meet once due to conflicts in our schedules. Although this was upsetting, we made up for the disappointment by ensuring that we were keeping busy during our most recent meeting.

At this meeting, I shared my recent purchase with my mentor as well as my action plan with her. We also spoke about ways that I could begin to create some tangible items to display at my learning centre in May, such as a mood board that incorporates items such as real samples of the carpet, wallpaper, and paint.

In addition to this, at the meeting, we further discussed the process of creating a furniture plan for that was what I was mainly working on throughout the past few weeks.

I am so grateful to have the help and support of my mentor throughout this learning process because I find that, at times, the process can be difficult and frustrating. With my mentor’s help and knowledge, the process is easier and much more enjoyable because I am able to ask as many questions as and gain incredibly insightful answers.

Mentor Meeting, In Relation to How to Have a Beautiful Mind

Asking Questions: 

During my previous mentor meeting, I made sure to ask a variety of questions. Some of the questions I asked were:

  1. What are some ways that I can improve my furniture plan?
  2. What are some aspects of my furniture plan that are well done?
  3. What plan do you think works the best, plan 1, 2, or 3? Why?

The reason why I asked the first question is because I wanted to find out specific ways to improve my work in order to further learn and grow while developing something that is as close to perfection as I can achieve.

I asked the second question in contrast to the first because I wanted to know what was done well in order to continuously apply good elements of my designs in the future.

Both questions were extremely valuable because my mentor’s responses provided me with amazing feedback.

I asked the third question because while I was reading How to Have a Beautiful Mind, I stumbled across the idea of asking multiple choice questions. This idea intrigued me because I do not often ask multiple choice questions and wanted to see how effective it could be. I asked this question to my mentor by showing her three different furniture arrangements that I had came up with. The first option I shared was the most logical approach, the second one was a secondary idea that I had come up with, and the third one was a completely bizarre plan.

By asking this question, I realised how useful multiple choice questions can be for it allowed me to clearly see my mentor’s thoughts on the designs and why she liked one plan over the others.

Our Values:

One thing that I would like to work on when it comes to my relationship with my mentor is to learn more about one another’s values. This is because I strongly believe that a person’s values can explain their actions and thoughts.

Although the values of my mentor are unknown to me at the moment, one thing that I do know is that my mentor and I will certainly have varying values for we are two, very different people. With this being the case, I must be open and understanding during our conversations about our values.

Action Plan

The action plan that I have created for the rest of this project includes a variety of deadlines.

One universal goal that I have set to achieve for each month is to meet with my mentor at least two times in a month.

March:

With two weeks of spring break coming up, I have a lot of time to work on my In-Depth project. By the end of spring break, I hope to have completed my furniture plan, create a concept sketch, and an electrical sketch. I also hope to begin developing my mood board.

April:

In April, my main goal is complete my mood board by the end of the month. I also hope to begin creating the 3D plan of my room. I have decided to make my 3D plan out of materials such as foam boards, rather than a digital plan because my mentor and I both agreed that it would be more interesting and fun.

May:

In the month of May, my main goal is to apply my design to my room. This month will include a lot of furniture shopping, rearranging, and tweaking of design elements.


Overall, the past two weeks have been very productive for my project as well as for my relationship with my mentor.

In addition to this, the creation of my action plan provides me with a clear outline of the tasks that must get done, which will help me complete my project in a well-managed and organised manner.

I am looking forward to spring break because I will be given ample time to work on my project!

Until next time,

Sydney

Mercy Anne Coles: February 1, 1852

February 1, 1852

Dear Diary,

It is my fourteenth birthday and you have been given to me as a gift from my Pa, George Coles, the premier of Prince Edward Island. You have a beautiful binding, and your lock allows me to write about anything and everything that I would like, without the worries of my words being read by one of my eleven siblings.

During the day, I spent most of my time in the drawing room with my sisters. We gossiped about the eligible suitors that we may meet at the ball that we were all going to be attending in the evening.

The ball was very pleasant. I got to wear my new evening ball gown, which was given to me as another present from Pa. The gown is in a lovely robin’s egg blue with a gorgeous neckline, short sleeves and exquisite details. When I wear the gown, I feel very elegant. It must have cost a fortune. Pa really does seem to spoil me.

At the ball, I could help but to notice something that has become more evident throughout the past few months. It is that although balls appear to be pure sources of enjoyment and pleasure, important gentlemen seem to talk a lot about important things at these social gatherings. At times, I find that it is more interesting to listen in on their important conversations than to dance; however, I do not believe that they would appreciate it if I tried to join their conversations.

Overall, my day was quite brilliant. I am extremely pleased with all of the attention that Pa gave to me today, for I usually do not get the chance to spend much time with him. Ever since he became premier, he has been very busy tending to important political matters.

I do not know much about what exactly he is doing right now. This is not because I do not care, but rather because nobody seems to have to leisure and time to come talk to me about anything. Despite this, I have recently heard stories about Pa and his efforts to rid of tuition fees for education. People say that this will benefit the people of Prince Edward Island greatly. I have also heard that this is the first time that someone has meddled with the idea of free education within the British Empire.

Although I do not know much about it, I do believe that the work Pa is doing is beautiful, and I will always support his decisions and ideas.

I must go to bed now for I am exhausted. It was quite a long, yet exciting day.

I hope to write again very, very soon.

With lots of love,

Mercy Anne Coles