Tag Archives: teresa

The End of Emine…- What?!!!!!

Where do I begin?

It honestly seems like eminent just began and I was deciding who to do. Well let me start there I suppose: I am so glad I chose Teresa! I don’t know how I could have done anyone else for my first and 1 of 2 eminent projects(nothing against my other prospective eminent people)! And yes, I am now finishing my first and one of only two eminent projects ever!

Me at the end of the night at my learning centre.


That’s basically a short summary of how I felt at the end of Night of The Notables: Sad, happy, sentimental, “introspective”(quote Emma F. for one word that describes the night). That’s basically it, it’s like total chaos for about 15 hours, and then you just have to do a bunch of posts and you’re done your project. It really is crazy, in many ways. But I loved it.

Photo creds: TALONS Flickr

I loved every single part of this project: the posting, the night, the interview(aaaaaah – in angelic voice). It was… a splash! That was my word to describe the night. I don’t exactly know why I chose it, but I did. Maybe it was because some of the other words I had in mind had been taken when it got to my turn, or because I was just hyped and felt like saying a crazy and rewarding word. As I said, I’m not entirely sure. But as I also said, I do know something: I had fun!

On the night of, or should I say, the day of, it’s mayhem, but in a good way. Everyone is frantically reserving desks and furniture and putting finishing touches on their learning centres from the moment they arrive in the morning. I had my parents drop my learning centre stuff/materials/cardboard furniture/clothes, whatever you want to call it, off at lunch, because it was far too much to carry in the morning as I had basketball practice before school. They had to bring two cars to get it all to school, and I recruited a team of assistants to help me relocate the ‘stuff’ up to the second floor, where it would remain for about 10 hours. In the afternoon, and continuing after school, I began assembling my learning centre and putting on a couple finishing touches.

Here’s a few pictures of my learning centre coming together:


After our allotted set-up time, we headed down to the MPR for Dinner. Oh, forgot to mention our record-breaking fast MPR set-up that happened immediately after school; truly, many hands make light work. The dinner was fabulous, and even though we had had a small technical difficulty while setting up the MPR, we remained mainly on schedule for the duration of the night, or at least what I though was right on time. On that note, I’d just like to thank the two phenomenal project managers, Mira and Andrea, for their crazy efforts over the course of the evening. They worked so efficiently and looked like real professionals, real professionals. Also thank you to all of the other grade 9 committees who ultimately hosted the event with great success.

Then, after any final touch-ups were completed on the amazing learning centres we headed down to the MPR again, to await the renowned grade 10 speeches. And let me just say, we had no idea how this would change our destiny.

Okay, I know, over-dramatic, but the speeches were amazing, and when I say destiny, I mean, I don’t know how we’re going to live up to those speeches next year, we ‘got big shoes to fill!

Photo creds: TALONS Flickr – Afternoon tens after speeches
Photo creds: TALONS Flickr – Morning tens after speeches


I was lucky enough to help out holding up a sign for Lyle/Emma’s speech/performance. I say lucky, because I got VIP access backstage during the morning speeches, and I was also allowed to be inside the theatre prior to the performances before the audience loaded. This was a great experience and I think it will help me in preparing for next year. I really got to see how intense and nerve-racking the speeches truly are for the grade tens on the night of, but I also got to feel all the amazing positive energy going through the room beforehand. Something that I thought was really special and nice, was that before the audience entered the theatre, all the tens, morning and afternoon, got into a big huddle, and collectively gave support to one another. There wasn’t a single leader of the group, they just all huddled up and came together, not just physically. This reminds of how on a team, I’m thinking basketball, but any really, you’ll huddle up before games and at halftime and other breaks to hear each other out, support each other, and get pumped up as a group, a team, a unit. Being backstage during the morning tens’ performances, I saw that unity. I think that’s something really special about TALONS, and also the middle school program that I was in(MACC), you become much more than just a class with your classmates. Some would say, you become a family.

I think with the fall retreats gone, this event was huge for bonding within the TALONS family and coming together as one. It was amazing seeing everyone’s unique and creative learning centres that were all so different but interesting in their own ways.

My learning centre turned out very well. I had a lot of fun putting it together as it is something I am very passionate about, and it was very easy for me to talk about it with the many visitors I had to my station over the course of the evening. They all seemed very intrigued by the remarkable success and magnitude of her career at her height, her perseverance through staying at home and her crazy full-time job, and her outstanding dedication to the game over so many years. I had my interview documentary playing on the right of my learning centre(facing it), and on the left I had my home-made player locker. The locker housed a replica Team Canada jersey signed by Teresa herself in person, a SFU Women’s Basketball T-shirt, and a replica Canada practice jersey, along with basketball shoes also signed by her, and a water bottle taped and labelled the same as the national team. On the ground I had a, almost to scale, basketball half-court with a timeline of some of the major events of her career along the three point line. Lastly, in the centre on the wall, I had my title reading “Teresa Gabriele #5” and some Team Canada posters, one of which is signed by Teresa and of her and another player. Here are some pictures of my learning centre in full swing and me presenting, so you can get a feel of my little Teresa Gabriele world found in the far left corner of the second floor of Gleneagle Secondary on December 3rd:

Photo creds: Mom – Me talking to guests at my centre, notice the projector cart matches theme

P1090903 P1090899

Above photos creds: Mom – Me showing off Teresa’s water bottle and my basketball court timeline.

Night of the NotablesNight of the Notables Night of the Notables

Above three photos creds: TALONS Flickr, but I believe Jess SL. (TALONS alumni) actually took these three. Thanks Jess, they’re great photos.  The first one: Teresa’s locker; The second one: my interview video playing; The third one: me standing at my station at the ready.

Note:  I wore a Team Canada T-shirt given to me by none other than my eminent person.


And then, that was that. It was all over. I packed up my learning centre reluctantly after running around to some of my fellow TALONS family members and giving them hugs due to sentimental splashes in my mind (ahh, there’s that word)and the sadness that I won’t again be a part of the night of the notables with the current grade tens with them as grade tens. That this was also the first and only grade 9 version of eminent night to be experienced by me, and first and one of only two to be experienced by me as a current TALONS learner.

I managed to capture a few of the grade tens’ amazing costumes in picture at the end of the evening, and can we just take a minute to appreciate them?

Photo creds: TALONS Flickr: Jamie F./Shane Koyczan and Vanessa G./Angela Davis

IMG_0907 IMG_0915


Above left: Vanessa F./Nancy Wake; right: Katherine V./Julie D’Aubigny
Emma F./Frida Kahlo


And another lovely photo of three amazing people in the TALONS family after the night: Katherine, Karolina, and Emma M.  IMG_0921


Well I really could go on forever probably, and include more and more pictures of the night and all the outstanding notables and notable students, but unfortunately just as this project, and the sun setting over SFU(see interview doc.), this post must come to an end.

I guess my narrations in my interview documentary aren’t inaccurate, as I can now look at ‘the end’, as not the end of this particular project, but rather my whole eminent experience across both grade 9 and 10. And that is fortunately still a long ways off.

You’ll notice that I tagged ‘moment’ on this post. But in reality, eminent was much more than just one moment, but really a collection. I gained so many things from this project, connections(as mentioned in interview post), experiences(night of the notables and also mentioned in SFU post along with much more), and they all came together to make one big splash.

A splash in school, a splash with friends, and a splash in my life.

Thank you again so much to everyone who helped me in this project: Teresa, Allison, Mr. Jackson, Ms. Mulder, Mr.Albright, my fellow nines and my amazing tens.

As a grade 9 I thoroughly look forward to next year, but as I look back on this year’s project I’m happy with how I didn’t take the grade 9 experience for granted, it’s half of your eminent projects after all. I wanted to make the most of it, and I did. It was certainly a success, but as I said in my interview documentary, it’s not over yet, however I will be saying goodbye for now.

So as this year’s project comes to an end, and I finish my last blog post, now this being symbolic of the sun set rather than vice versa, I say:

Anne – Teresa Gabriele eminent person – over and out – splash!

“Ain’t it fun?..Living in the real world!”

“Ain’t it fun?.. Living in the real world…”

     This is a quote from the song ‘Ain’t It Fun’ by Paramore. I thought it would be appropriate as I have been having so much fun with this project. Speaking to the second part of the quote, my interviews for this project are prime examples of real life and real world situations. Both obtaining and completing the interviews were great experiences for the project and for me.

     I had a ton of fun conducting my interviews, and yes, you will notice that ‘interviews’ is plural! I was extremely fortunate so as to get two amazing interviews for the project. The first was with Allison McNeill, former head coach of the women’s national basketball team for 12 years and coached them to Olympics in 2012. Allison has coached and known Teresa for a very long time and has seen her develop over the course of her career, so this was a great perspective and voice to hear on my eminent person. I also did my speech from Allison’s perspective, so this interview was very useful in putting together my speech and the opinions within it, and my speech wouldn’t have been the same without it.

     The second interview, wait for it … Was with Teresa herself! Allison was able to help me get in contact with Teresa and I was fortunate to get an in-person interview with her as well.

    One intangible per-say that I really thought I gained from  this experience, was not only learning about my eminent person for the sake of the project, but also just learning about someone so amazing, who I can really take away my new knowledge of to my own life. Teresa has long been basically my idol in basketball, and it was a truly inspiring experience hearing from both Allison and Teresa about her career and their perspectives on basketball. This being said, I really gained so much more than just conducting the eminent interview. Forming another new connection in the sport, even though I’d met Teresa before, now when I see her at events, the only thing I say to her won’t be “Can I have your autograph?” for the millionth time, cause I totally don’t already have it on like a million things(sarcasm).  And also, just forming another connection, and getting more experience, in the community in general.

     I filmed both the interviews, and put them into a kind of semi-documentary. Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties and it was not uploaded sooner, so a couple of the narrations are somewhat inaccurate in certain ways. I also had to cut it up into parts so that I could upload the whole video. I apologize for any video glitches or awkward cut-off questions, and I also realize that the video quality isn’t particularly great. However, they are up there for you to see.  These are my first Youtube uploads ever, hopefully they work out! Enjoy!

P.S. Even if you don’t watch the whole thing, as it is quite long, please watch the ending(around the last 3 minutes) as I am really proud of them, and you will get the connection when you see/hear it. But also, please watch these amazing interviews, with these amazing people! Thanks

Thanks again to my amazing interviewees:

Allison McNeill


Teresa Gabriele

Document of Learning – Speech Draft

With my speech coming up in the very near future, I wanted to post my current draft of my speech to get any feedback any of you might have. This is about my fourth draft, however many of the previous drafts were specific parts of the speech, which I have now tried to mush together into one. The part that I would really love feedback on, is the middle body section, after the intro, but before the conclusion. I am particularly having difficulty getting that area to flow well. Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Here it is:

” We were up by 5 with less than a minute remaining, a spot to the world championships on the line. Puerto Rico races up the floor and makes a quick layup. The clock keeps ticking down. We bring the ball up the court, and put a shot up. It misses. Puerto Rico gets the ball, and calls a timeout. The girls come in to the huddle. I tell them to stay calm, don’t foul, and play good defense, just don’t foul. They go back out onto the floor and execute what I asked perfectly, we’re up by three. Puerto Rico puts up a bad shot, and the girls go to rebound. But somehow, the ball bounces into the hands of the Puerto Rican three point shooter; she puts it up, and drains the three. The game is tied. With just seconds left, Teresa gets the ball and looks over at me. I didn’t have a timeout in because I didn’t think we would need it, I look at her and shrug, and motion for her to just go. She knows exactly what I mean.

As the clock expires, Teresa scores at the buzzer to send us to worlds, saving my butt again. As all the girls race onto the floor cheering her, I think to myself thank goodness for Teresa today. She’s done that so many times before, just made any coaching blunders go away, but this was pretty special.

The first time I saw Teresa, you could tell there was something inside her that loved the game. As a kid she grew up loving sports, she played tennis, roller hockey and on a daily basis my husband Mike would see her playing across the road from the high school he taught at. He would see her from his classroom window after school playing roller hockey with guys way older than her; but she was always having fun.

I would see her at camps and different basketball clinics. From the beginning, she had a true passion for basketball, and loved to play. I don’t know what caused her to be so motivated towards the game, but from an early age it was clear she loved it. The one thing that was very apparent when she played was that she had fun. And that’s the most important thing about basketball, or any sport, you do it because you love it. But even so, she played volleyball all throughout high school alongside her basketball, and it wasn’t until university that she chose to solely pursue the basketball game.

Following her career at Heritage Park Secondary in Mission, I recruited her to attend Simon Fraser University, where I was the coach at the time. Obviously I’d known her for a long time, but as a university coach, there were only certain times we were allowed to call players for recruiting. I called several times, but I would always get her mom, and she would say something like, Oh Teresa’s in the bath, or She’s in the shower. I started to wonder how somebody could bathe that much. Teresa was never really one for publicity or attention, in fact she is really quite an introverted person. Fortunately, in time, she came to the conclusion that SFU would be the right place for her. It was close to home and family, which I think was very important to her, and she would get immediate playing time. I also agreed to coach her for all four years of her career there. It turned out she would actually play five years at SFU as the school switched, in her fourth year, from NAIA to CIS, and I wouldn’t be her coach for her fifth year. But even so, once she had made the decision, she came at the university game in full force. In her senior season she burst the scene wide open recording 45 points in a game against trinity western university, the still standing points in a game record for the SFU women’s program, and was named the CIS defensive player of the year.

Remarkably, she attended the 2000 Sydney Olympics at only 20 years of age and still in university. She continued to play on the national team, as those Olympics would be the beginning of a legendary career to follow. Or at least what I think deserves to be known as legendary.

What was most remarkable however, was not in fact what she did, but how she did it. Being the quiet person that she was, she didn’t want to stray far from home. When she was playing on the National team early on, and was the youngest player on the team, they were over in Europe on a trip one time. The team had all sorts of nick names for her like ‘Young fry’ or ‘Stir fry’, and one night, she called me. She said to me, “Allison, I think I’m going to come home.” Just outright like that. And I said “No you’re not.” “but,” she said, “I don’t like it.” “Well,” I said, “nobody likes it when they go over there for the first time, not knowing anyone, the food is different, away from home.” I thought to myself, oh no, such a great player, I hope this isn’t going to end it all. But being the person she is, she toughed it out.  So you can imagine what happened when she went over to Europe to try playing professionally in the offseason after university. She felt uncomfortable and didn’t like being away from home, so that didn’t last. Another time, we got it set up for her to go to a WNBA tryout in Portland. Mike went down with her, and his report was good. He told me she was clearly the best guard there. One coach actually pulled his guard out of the tryout after a couple of hours because Teresa was completely annihilating her. Mike said, she could have played at that level if she wanted to, but again, she didn’t want to spend so much time away from family and she had some health problems that would make it difficult to play year round; but most importantly, she saw the WNBA as a distraction. So instead, in order to pursue her National team career, she did it all herself. She never gave  up on her pursuit; her pursuit of basketball, her pursuit of a career on the national team, and the pursuit of getting to another Olympics. (EMPHASIS)

Every year, she would continue with a crazy and treacherous routine to maintain her basketball. Each day, in the offseason, she would rise at 3:30 in the morning, to go to work. She worked at her parents’ bakery in her hometown of Mission, and still does to this day. She would work a shift till around 8 in the morning loading and delivering stocks and then go to her mom’s house for breakfast. After her meal, she would head to the gym to train. Later, she’d take a nap to refresh for round two. Again, she would go to work for another shift, and then head to the gym for another workout. On an average day she would be working out around 5 hours, and working a full time job. Her passion and commitment to the game are really unexplainable and are really what allowed her and pushed her to keep going for so long.

Going through the journey with her was truly amazing. We both learnt from each other. In our time together at SFU, I was a young coach, and she was a developing athlete, I think we both helped each other, as I had formerly played the point guard position in my playing days, and she was helping me learn things about the game as well. A lot of people said that she wouldn’t be able to compete at the international level, without playing professionally, or that she was too short to play at that level, as she was only 5’5, about my height. But her love for the game proved them wrong.

It was only suiting that in 2012 she got to finish at the Olympics in London, where she had so desperately wanted to get back to after all those years. It was such a joy qualifying with her in Turkey on Canada Day, I will never forget that. Running up to her after the game, just having been with her so long, through so much. And then the Olympics themselves. As I think Teresa would agree, if you’re not an athlete and you haven’t actually been in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, walking in with all the other athletes from your country, you don’t know what it feels like.

Our final game in London, was a blowout loss in the quarterfinals to the eventual gold medallists in the U.S., but what I remember from it was how special it was to be there with her. That being the best finish ever for Canada at the Olympics, and knowing that that was the end of her outstanding career. It was such an emotional experience, and such an amazing journey. I think she really deserves a lot more credit than she gets for what she did. Through all the highs and the lows, she really changed the face of women’s basketball in Canada, and now girls all around the country look up to her. Walking off the court with her after that game, is something I will never forget. ”


Still working on it, getting certain areas more concise and to flow well together.

I have also recently completed two interviews for the project: I was very lucky to interview Allison McNeill, who was a former coach of Teresa Gabriele for 16+ years, along with many other personal achievements herself, and she is also who I am writing my speech in the perspective of. Oh did I not mention that earlier? I was also very lucky to interview my actual eminent person herself! Yes, Teresa Gabriele, in person! There will be more information on these interviews in my upcoming interview post. However, below are a few preview pictures of what you can look forward to:

lead up allison int. scrst.

allison int. photo scrst.drive up teresa int. scrst.Thank you for all your help, and enjoy!


All These Amazing Women: Decisions, Decisions – Eminent 2014

Well, as with any project that comes with a big choice that will largely impact the project in its entirety, I struggle to make that choice. Decisions are certainly a weakness for me, although, if Mr. Albright is correct, then they are also my strengths. So in light of my indecisiveness, in this post I will explore my top four considerations for the project and my reasoning for my difficulties, and hopefully along the way my thoughts will be cleared and the light will appear, shining on my eminent person for this year.

As you can probably tell from my title, I have been able to agree with myself that I will most certainly be doing a woman for my study. I have always been very passionate about equality of all types especially equal rights for women, so this was a fairly straightforward decision. I also decided that I wanted to study an athlete, seeing as I am an athlete myself and I feel a strong connection to female athletes. Also, all the skills that must be present in high level athletes both on the court, or playing field, and off, is truly remarkable. However, that’s where the clarity ends. When I am making a decision like this, I always struggle because I try to find the absolute perfect match, but really perfect doesn’t exist so you may say it’s a waste of my time. The way I look at it though, is rather I am trying to find the one topic, in this case person, that I am the most passionate about, this will allow me to have the most fun and get the most out of my project, which I think is a lot of what the eminent project is about. That being said, the decision takes just as long. Over the past few days, and hours, I have managed to narrow down my options to four: Clara Hughes, Teresa Gabriele, Becky Hammon, and Silken Laumann. These four women have many things in common, however they also have many experiences and characteristics that set them apart.

Teresa Gabriele
Becky Hammon
Silken Laumann
Clara Hughes

You may be wondering who Teresa Gabriele and Becky Hammon are. I suppose you may also be wondering who Silken, and maybe even who Clara, is too, but we’ll get to them later. To start, Teresa and Becky are both retired women’s basketball players who have succeeded undeniably and outstandingly in their respective ways. Teresa grew up in Mission BC and is about 5’6 in height. Similarly, Becky is below the basketball average at about 5’6 in height, however Becky grew up in Rapid City South Dakota. Both of these phenomenal players generally played the point guard position, often the leader of the team.



I started playing basketball in grade three, and ever since the first time I knew who she was, I have been idolizing Teresa Gabriele. Basketball is my passion and I look up to Teresa for many reasons, including the fact that she is somewhat short, in basketball terms, and I am about her height and not sure how much more I am going to grow. Also, she is from BC.  What makes her so amazing though, is her unwavering commitment to the game of basketball in Canada over the years. She played on the national team for an incredible 16 years, and while fighting through countless injuries, changed the face of women’s basketball in Canada. She has inspired me so much and showed how anything is possible for anyone, and any country if you try.

From the beginning, Becky was not the favourite. She was short and grew up in a somewhat outlying region for basketball, but she didn’t let any of this stop her. When she finished her years playing at college, unbelievably she went un-drafted in the WNBA, but even this didn’t stop her. When she was invited to a tryout in New York, she blew everyone away and ensuingly did the same to the entire WNBA that year. She is now the first full time female assistant coach ever in the NBA, just to give you a few of her achievements. It touched me this summer when her retirement was announced at the end of the WNBA season and she made history in the NBA. She has left such a legacy in women’s basketball and continues to develop her legacy in basketball in general, paving the way for more women to follow.

On a different note, my other two athletes have done much more than just sports. While they each have engaging and inspiring athletics stories, they have also done much more for their communities, and the world at large. This is very important to me as I also love many things outside of sports, especially helping others. I have been in me to we for the last 3 years and am continuing this year along with having a very strong passion for other charitable work in the community and globally.

     Clara is a renowned speed skater and cyclist, she has won medals for Canada in both the summer and winter Olympics, but her success is really off the field of play. She has committed countless hours to her work for mental health awareness and several other charities in Canada and around the world. Her recent campaign that happens annually in Canada ‘Bell Let’s Talk’ is an initiative dedicated to mental health awareness, and this past summer she cycled across Canada for the cause. Clara herself went through mental health struggles which have contributed to her passion to help others who are going through the same thing. For me, Clara is such an inspirational person, every time I see her either competing, doing charitable work, and being interviewed, she seems so happy. Her light and energy spread and her smile lights up the atmosphere in which she is in and also to anyone who is watching, at least me.

Finally, Silken Laumann. For those of you who have not heard of her before, she is a former Team Canada world champion and    multi-Olympic medallist rower, but she is most widely known for her miraculous comeback only weeks before the 1992 Olympics. Ten weeks before the games, her scull was broadsided by another boat while training. Her boat’s shell shattered and tore into her skin, ripping it apart as well as her muscles and damaging her bones. However, like the other women I have talked about, this incident wasn’t stopping her. The doctors in Germany, where she was, told she may never be able to row again, but she determinedly set out on a mission to compete at the Olympics in less than 10 weeks and make her Olympic dream come true. She asked the doctors for a rubber band and asked them to tie it to the end of her bed. Over the course of the next few weeks, she pulled on the band from the head of her bed providing mild training. She went through intense rehabilitation and only ten weeks after the accident, she competed at the Olympics and won bronze. If that doesn’t seem like enough, her impact also extends far beyond her rowing comeback. She currently talks as an inspirational speaker and contributes to many charities and initiatives. Her recent self-written memoir shows not only her struggle in her athletic times, but also in her childhood.Her story is unbelievable and really shows the power of true grit and determination, and how when you set your mind on something, you truly can achieve anything.

So obviously I am not going to be able to do all four of these spectacular and inspirational women, but also, I think it is clear that I am having some difficulty making up my mind. Silken Laumann once said “Change is essential to growth. Embrace Change!” . Well, my thoughts are certainly going to have to change or at least settle, my mind’s mettle will have to emerge for me to concur with myself on one of these phenomenal athletes; and when it does, I will dive whole-heartedly into the cause.