Tag Archives: year

Let’s Get Wet from the Sun! – Library Field Trip 2015

I know, my title may seem a little abstract, so let me explain.

The concept of getting wet originates from my word that I chose to describe Night of the Notables at the end of the night last year, “splash”. This field trip and event was the beginning of your new project, a new year, a new person to study, and I am now getting wet from that splash we set into action a little under a year ago. The sun comes from two things, one, it was a beautiful day on our field trip this fall, the sun was out in full force from the get go and it stayed that way, but two, it is rising on the dawn of a new day, a new project, and a new TALONS.

This year the TALONS program has changed, it is different from all past years, as it always is I should say. Nonetheless there are some more major changes in place starting this semester, these include the facts that the grade nine learners are in a separate class to us now grade tens. Additionally, all of our courses are linear so for me this means that I will not have as significant of an amount of class time for this project this time around. However, the TALONS program is still the TALONS program and as awesome as it was before.

For me, this trip felt like the beginning, the start of something new, but also the same. It came at me somewhat unexpected, and upon the eve of the trip whilst I was planning and setting some goals for the following day, I felt a certain reminiscent feeling, nostalgic even.  I wrote this short poem quickly about the starting of our new journeys this year.

And so it is we return

survived the head rush and the sunburn

we now apply sunscreen

but this beach is still a first

there are new shells to be discovered

with new creatures whom which will make them filled

and all these pieces of sand

that make it so new to tramp on

we have begun our new expedition

uncovering treasures far and near

and on this very adventure

it will all be new what we do find here

for our last adventure is complete

but not anew one obsolete

we must climb our tall sand towers

and seek the drum of our heartbeat

for once again we reach the bell tower

ringing dull or ringing clear

but we must now move forward

and not bring with us any fear

(Sorry that’s kind of long with the extended spacing formatting of this blog, can’t figure out how to change that.)

I have come into this year knowing so many more people in the TALONS program, or new people from last year. In the short time that we have been in class together this year I have made many new and close friends, and this trip was a great bonding experience for those relationships. I was looking back at the photos from last year and some of my eminent posts, specifically the TALONS program picture from our field trip last fall, and I can say that I am now friends with almost everyone in that picture, closely, and I plan to be for a while, at least I hope.

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Some of my amazing new friends after getting off the bus. Nicole, Julia, Mira, from left to right.

Moving into this project, a piece of advice that one of my tens told us last year at closing circle, was not to try to make this year like the last., you can’t. And so, knowing that I didn’t know the nines as well going into this trip I had to accept that and try to take it as an opportunity.

I had some other more physical goals for this trip which included taking some pictures of the architecture ad the city, which I was able to do, possibly getting to know some of the nines more, and enjoying the solo spot. I succeeded in almost all of these and when I searched for books on my eminent person at the library, I was pleased to find one actually on her specifically, and her partner in action! Even better, they had one copy at the central branch, where we were going!

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The Vancouver Public Library building.

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TALONS faces from the end of my solo spot.

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Entrance to MacLeod’s Books store.

 

I picked these up along with multiple other books at both the library and MacLeod’s Books. As hoped, I very much enjoyed visiting MacLeod’s as I love books and old stores like that but I don’t often get the chance to check some of them out. I was very overwhelmed by all the amazing books at the library and MacLeod’s and how much love for books there is in those stores. In the library, I was completely taken aback by the huge section they had for the history of World War I and II specifically! It was amazing! It was also just such a cool feeling in the library as there was so many people there of all different walks of life. It really felt like it was a home bookcase to anyone who so chose to upon it.

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World War I and II section in the Vancouver Public Library.

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Me with my book on my eminent person in the extensive World War I section.

 

I think everyone really enjoyed having that sort of experience as tourists in our own town for a day and getting to experience many new things right where we live. The mood was relaxed and exploratory, if I had to describe it. I think because we’ve had a very chaotic beginning to the year, as per usual, and this was a good chance to step out of the normal activities and get a breath of fresh air, and also explore some new things for the enjoyment of it, as well as gaining some valuable information for our eminent person studies.

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Looking up from my solo spot, the city of Vancouver.

Overall it was a great day. Very different from last year, but that’s good, this is the start of a new project, a new year, and a new TALONS, and the sun is only just coming up.

(More pictures can be found on my Flickr page, linked in all of the pictures.)

The Good Ol’ Days – Socials Final Address

It’s been a long and intense year, both in social studies and in many other aspects. We’ve covered a lot. Thinking back, it’s hard  to realize that it was over six months ago that I was stressing out over my first eminent person study and interviewing my idol. Now, we’ve finished off with an anything but linear political exploration. Additionally, we looked back on Canada; What can we learn from our country’s past and what made it what it was?

For my socials final address, I chose to create and present a personality who not only existed in our period of study, but also experienced many of the challenges and saw many of the issues of that time. The following is the historical life presentation I created that my personality, and guest speaker, presented to our class on our final day of socials.  It is the historical life of John O’Callaghan, who lives in Winnepeg, and is visiting our class in the late 1800s after his move from the East Coast. He focuses on his experiences and self-realization as a main theme of topic.

“Oh hello everyone! It’s an honour to be here today. You know, I’ve always wanted to speak to a group like you. It’s amazing to see such a diverse classroom, with so many different identities and backgrounds in one group of young individuals. I hope you realize how special that is. Now you’re probably wondering where I’m from, or why I have an Irish accent if I live in Canada. So let me tell you a bit about myself.

I grew up in Ireland just north of Dublin in the late 1830s. I was born in 1834, a year after Britain officially abolished the trade of slaves. Our family had a potato farm, and we were proud to be Irish. I walked home from school every day with the neighbour’s son, he was about 5 years older than me. He used to tell me about how when he was younger he didn’t have to do any work because they had slaves for that. He was always complaining about the next or newest chore he was heading home to. His father had gotten rid of their slaves when the new law was brought in, because he knew no slaves would be allowed very soon. We came from very different households. My father didn’t believe in slaves. He believed in us doing our own work that we deserved to do. We had chosen to own a farm, it was our duty to maintain it, you couldn’t pay anyone else to do it for you.

Eleven years after I was born, the Great Famine hit Ireland. People got sick and starved everywhere. We were fine for the first few years, but in 1850, my father got sick. There wasn’t enough supplies to get him healthy and there was no where we could take him. He passed away only a few months after the illness hit him. Soon after this, my mother, myself, and my two older brothers moved to Canada. It was the colony with new hope, for the crown, for the Irish, and for our family.

The first little while, we lived in Halifax,  Nova Scotia. We were welcome there, it seemed as though we arrived with our foot already two steps along the path to success in our new life. Then confederation came around. It was a big deal. By that time I was a little older and could actually think for myself. And I didn’t think much of those politicians. You know everyone says you have to agree with someone, but that’s not true. What’s really important is that you agree with yourself. I never much agreed with ol’ Johnny boy my neighbour in Ireland. Nor what his father’s views were. I don’t like to think too much about what happened to my father, because I know he wouldn’t want me spending time on him when there are so many more valuable things to be thought about. He got sick that one time because of a famine, but the slaves all around the world are still getting sick so often because of the conditions in which they live.

I thought it would be different in Canada. When they separated from the U.K. I must admit, a slight excitement passed through me. There were so many possibilities for Canada; you could see the potential, but it wasn’t what it should have been, at least not yet it hasn’t been.

I married and started my own family a few years after confederation. In 1872 we were offered land in the prairies and moved out to start a farm, just like the old days. There was an Irish community there that we became a part of, we had all been sent out there to help ‘colonize’ the west. It was exciting, but I don’t think the government realized they were getting a young man who was willing to crash his savings for transportation to the capital to protest social issues. Good ol’ John A. That man was very focused on his economy, didn’t like to think too much of others. I lived out in Winnepeg, so I got to see what the government was doing to Aboriginals. They were native to the land but had been kicked out by foreigners. It seemed weird to me. The government treated them no differently to how slaves were treated. Although actually, they treated the worse. They were given no control over their own lives.
After all these years, I look back on things, and I’ve realized a lot: about myself, about Canada, and about people. It should never be up to others to choose where you go or what you do. You can do whatever you wish if you only take the first step. I hope in the future that all of you can realize that too, and live a happy life being who you want to be. I hope politicians will be a bit better for you to follow by. I hope they care about things that really matter, like fairness for everyone, and aren’t so focused on the economy. My advice to all of you is, don’t think of taking action or standing up for yourself as a mountain to climb, think of it as a staircase, you only needing to take the first step.”

Well that’s that. My final socials post of the 2014-15 school year. I enjoyed looking at things from a new perspective this year, and seeing new parts of Canada’s history I hadn’t seen before. I look forward to what next year has in store, but for now, so long from the past, and have a good summer and future!