Tuppy – The Beginning

Good evening honorable men of the House of Assembly!


My name is Sir. Charles Tupper and I am proud to announce that I will hereby be representing all Nova Scotians as provincial secretary! After the disastrous years under the failing liberal government, 1857 will be remembered as a year of change. I will be working under the honorable James William Johnson of the Conservative party of Nova Scotia. Together we will work to achieve what is best for all Nova Scotians. We have plans to capitalize on the massive economic potential that is the abundant resources of Nova Scotia which will bring wealth, fortune, and happiness to you all!


One of the basic fundamentals of business is that to sell things, they must reach the buyers. As it stands right now, transporting fish, timber, and other resources is costly and inefficient. We have plans to create a wonderful railroad that will connect the booming Maritimes to the (not so booming) Dominion of Canada and perhaps onward into the expanse that is this beautiful nation. With this railroad comes wealth and power, just imagine the amount of fish that you could sell! The Maritimes also being the gateway from Britain, means we can control and tax access to that as well! Railroads are expensive you say, how are we going to pay for this expensive project you say. Well, do I have a plan for you. As an experienced businessman (I have my own extremely successful medical clinic) I will sail to Britain and convince the crown to pay for this project. It is beneficial to them because with a railway, comes more access to the Dominion of Canada which they want. Voilà! Project paid for.


My friends (except for all you nasty liberals), there are great things in our future. Under this new conservative government, Nova Scotia will be a hotspot for wealth and prosperity. Everyone will envy our great natural resources and of course, our wonderful people. Bless all your hearts (again except for you nasty liberals, looking at you Mr. Joseph Howe) and may the future be bright for all of you!


Tuppster, Out!


BTW Follow me on Twitter @sirtuppy for some sick twitter battles and commentary :)



In-Depth Post #4

These last weeks were the most productive of my In-Depth project so far. Not only did I meet with my mentor three times, but I received my camera, planned a shoot, and got myself another mentor who I haven’t met with yet, but will hopefully be an enormous help for my project. Overall, my project has really started to take shape and pick up speed.


Having, and meeting regularly with, a mentor has made a huge impact on my motivation and interest levels in my In-Depth. Sina (my mentor) and I, have been meeting regularly after school to talk about a lot of the basics of creating a video/film. Our topics have ranged from the importance of a theme and plot in video (even in sports films) to the use of extra accessories while filming (stabilizers, tripods, mics), and how to properly use all settings on a DSLR to create the desired effect.


De Bono states that “A question is simply a way of directing attention”. Our meetings have generally been composed of one initial purpose which is usually a question that I asked Sina. This question usually takes the form of a “fishing” question because I am not looking for a yes or no answer, rather a longer explanation that will leave me with more information and a basis for another question. After the initial question, Sina does his best to answer my question and explain other terms that may come up. Often, this explanation leads to more questions. I find that this is the best way to approach our meetings because as a learner, I can choose what I’d like to focus on for my project, without putting too much strain on my mentor to create a rigid curriculum of lessons. Also, this way, I can check my understanding of the topic by asking “shooting” clarification questions. When seeking to check my understanding, I can also use a statement in the form of a question which my mentor will either agree with or disagree with. For example, I could say “Using a higher shutter speed while recording video will allow less light into the lens but will allow for smoother video quality and for clearer slow-motion.” Sina would then agree which would confirm the fact that I understand the effect of shutter speed on video quality.


During our last meeting, I recorded our conversations about the mechanics and settings of a DSLR while recording video. I uploaded the entire conversation on YouTube (set to private) which you can see here. One example of when I used a shooting question to check for clarification was at 6:02 in the video. Sina was talking about the difference between shutter speed and frames per second (fps) and said that “when you’re at 24 [fps] you set it at 48”, I then said, “And that’s what you set the shutter speed at?” By doing this I reinforced what I had learned, showed Sina that I was understanding everything he was saying, and showed that I was an active listener and part of the lesson even if I wasn’t doing much talking.



My Camera (Nikon D3400)

I mentioned in the previous blog post that I had bought a camera and that I’d be using it for my shoots. I’m going to quickly talk about that camera and the advantages of using it vs. my previous recording device which was my phone camera. My camera that I bought is a Nikon D3400, a 24-megapixel shooter with the stock 18-55mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 Nikkor VR lens. It can record 1080p video at 60 frames per second. This is a huge upgrade from my phone camera in almost all categories but I’ll quickly sum up the main advantages.


  1. Full manual video mode, when recording video, I can change the ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, and White Balance, unlike my phone camera. (See below for explanations of these terms)
  2. Tripod/accessory compatibility, as a DSLR, my camera works with all camera accessories which can be used to augment my shots. My phone camera couldn’t.
  3. Significantly better video/image quality, a DSLR is made for taking pictures and videos (somewhat). It has a larger sensor, interchangeable lenses, optical zoom, and optical viewfinder. A phone is made for making phone calls… Not taking videos.


I linked the audio recording to the entire 45-minute conversation above but I will briefly sum up some of the key terms that we talked about. As I said above, our meeting was about the mechanics of recording video with a DSLR and what all the settings mean, what they do, and how to use them to create the desired effect.


Key Terms


Aperaperture-sizesture: The blades inside the lens that determine the size of the hole that light comes through before hitting the sensor. Aperture is measured in f stops (f/15, f/8 etc.) and on my camera, can go from f/3.5 to f/36. The lower the number, the larger the size of the hole that light comes in. This obviously allows for more light but also creates a shallower depth of field which when filming video can make it hard to keep your subject in focus. Sina said the f/8 is the sweet spot when doing the filming that I’m going to be doing.


ISO: The sensitivity of the sensor to light. ISO ranges from 100 to 25 600, the larger the number, the brighter your pictures/videos will be, but with high ISO, also comes increased graininess which can make video unappealing. Sina mentioned when recording in the woods on a sunny day, ISO 500 should be sufficient. You generally want to keep your ISO as low as possible without creating a shot that’s too dark.


4fd3f72c221a4de1aaabb91c84617d2aShutter Speed: Shutter speed is the speed at which your shutter stays open when taking a photo or recording video. SS varies from 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second and in photography is used to freeze or blura subject. While recording video, you want to have your SS set at double the frame rate you’re recording at. For example, if I’m planning to record at 60fps, my shutter should be set at a minimum of 1/120th of a second. The faster the shutter speed, the clearer slow-motion will look but the less light you will let in.


White Balance: 
This is the process of setting the camera so that the whites in your picture will look like true whites. This can be changed based on whether it is cloudy, sunny, or if you’re inside. Previously, I had always kept this on auto but Sina suggested taking it off auto since fast changes in white balance can mess up a shot.


Finally, I mentioned that I was in contact with a second mentor who will also help my In-Depth project. Cris Blair is somebody who has made mountain biking videos as a hobby for over five years. He has a drone, a camera stabilizer, and many go pros as well as lots of knowledge on how to best document the sport we both love. I haven’t met up with him yet but we’ve been in contact through email and we have a plan to go riding after spring break. I’m hoping to learn lots from him.


As you can see, my project has grown exponentially. I’ve been spending a lot more time on it and as the weather gets better, I’m going to get out and start shooting lots of cool stuff. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures up to this point. I’ll be going away for all of the spring break so don’t expect me to be super active on my In-Depth project during that time; however, after my time away, expect my best videos yet!

Socials Précis

John Grenier (2008) The Far Reaches of Empire: War in Nova Scotia 1710 – 1760

Amazon Link to book

Review by Thomas S. Abler of the book

Grenier provides an extensive and thorough history of war in Nova Scotia from 1710 – 1760 not only providing key dates and times but also providing the reasoning behind major historical actions. He does a great job at isolating driving forces between tension and conflict and provides many comprehensive examples to support his arguments. Overall, this book is a great way to not only know what happened in this period but to understand why it happened.


Britain was ruled by a Protestant monarchy, but the Stuarts living abroad still lay claim to the throne. Thus even in their homeland, Britons were anxious that all declare loyalty to the reigning monarch. They continually attempted to force the Acadian population to swear loyalty to the British throne, but for most of the period examined in this study they lacked the military might to compel the Acadians to do so. When Britain finally did have the power to enforce its will, the Acadians still refused the loyalty oath and the result was the expulsion of a large portion of the Nova Scotia Acadians from their homes to various distant lands, an event still remembered with bitterness by descendents of those who either escaped removal or later returned to Nova Scotia.

In-Depth #3 – Exciting Possibilities!

Wow, In-Depth post #3 already! Seems like I just got started on this project yesterday… Anyway, this week I have some good news, bad news, and some exciting news. Let’s start with the bad.

Around my last post, the Coquitlam area was just starting to look snow free again; the roads weren’t sheets of black (death) ice, I could walk on the sidewalks without slipping and sliding like I was on an ice rink, and even the mountain bike trails were free again which allowed me to make my first video (check that out here). I believe it was the Tuesday after that post when snowmageddon 2.0 hit. Unexpected, deadly, and frustrating, the storm blanketed the trails in yet another soft coat of the white stuff. This led to another couple weeks where I was unable to shoot at all. The snow has just recently melted off the trails and I’m planning to shoot again in about a week. While unfortunate, the lack of being able to shoot has allowed me to further my search for a mentor.

Now onto the good news, I finally secured myself a mentor and will be meeting with them weekly from now on. His name is Sina and he is currently taking an IDS in film with Mr. Udell. My hope is that I’ll learn film techniques, editing skills, and other cinematography tricks under his guidance. While he couldn’t meet up this week, I’ll be meeting him for the first time on Monday at lunch. I realize I’m a bit late finding my mentor and so I’ll be making up the time by trying my best to meet up weekly.

Finally, the exciting news. Gear was another struggle I foresaw at the beginning of this project, camera gear is expensive and fragile and I currently don’t even own a camera. I shot my last video on my phone which, while adequate, is far from preferred. But, cameras are expensive, and at the start of my project, I thought I could just borrow one from the school. I later found out this was impossible for certain reasons. Lately, I’ve been reffing more often and have built up a little bit of extra change and so, I decided I’m going to buy a camera! This will allow me to up the quality of my shots as well as implement many other accessories such as tripods and mics which weren’t compatible with my phone. This is an exciting development in my project which I didn’t foresee happening and I’m really looking forward to using some new gear.

I also thought it’d be a good idea to mention that while I haven’t been out shooting film for my In-Depth project, I am in photography 11 at Gleneagle. In that class, I’ve been handling a DSLR every day and becoming familiar with all the different setting, options, and modes of a modern camera. This will be useful when I get my own because I won’t have to waste time figuring out the basics.

That wraps up my third In-Depth post. While I wasn’t as active as I would’ve liked to be this week, I’m excited for the future of my project and I think you should be too.

On Culture


Humans are funny creatures, we are the lone race on this earth capable of pondering, of asking, why? While other creatures evolved to have insane muscular strength or eyes like telescopes, we got stuck with the world’s most advanced brain. Today, I’ll be exerting my human brain power and trying to answer a question that was raised during our socials class. What is culture? Honestly, I doubt my ability to actually answer this question fully. There is a multitude of facets to this question and the philosophical nature of it will most likely lead to more questions being raised than answered; however, I am highly interested in trying my best to answer it.

My first strategy to answering this question was to try and divide my main question into many other “smaller” “more manageable” statements or questions that would, hopefully, be easier to answer. Some of these questions were:

  1. List some exact points that are necessary for something to be identified as a culture
  2. Is it necessary/possible for every human being to be a part of a culture/multiple cultures?
  3. What are the limits on culture? (can a culture only include one person/is there a point where culture “ascends” and becomes part of human nature)
  4. Is culture a purely “human” creation? (Can non-self aware creatures be part of a/multiple cultures?)

With my main question divided into these smaller questions/statements, I set off to answer them. I hoped that by creating an answer for all my questions/statements, I could summarize my answers and hopefully come closer to answering my big original question.




List some exact points that are necessary for something to be identified as a culture

Regarding my first question, it seems like the exact definitions of a culture are widely disputed. According to Ifte Choudhury, “Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.” (1, 1-2) Choudhury. Essentially he is making the claim that culture manifests itself in many different forms across a group or an individual. I used this statement to answer my first question regarding what things must be part of a culture for it to be a culture. However, I believe his list is general and to fit in a culture, you do not need to share every single one of the things on the list. You may share a couple from one culture, many from another, and perhaps none at all with another.

Is it necessary/possible for every human being to be a part of a culture/multiple cultures?

This leads me to my second question, Choudhury made an effort to answer this by applying “cultural layers.” According to his paper, there are six levels of culture, all humans belonging to a certain group in all six layers. The layers are as follows:

  • The national level: Associated with the nation as a whole.
  • The regional level: Associated with ethnic, linguistic, or religious differences that exist within a nation.
  • The gender level: Associated with gender differences (female vs. male)
  • The generation level: Associated with the differences between grandparents and parents, parents and children.
  • The social class level: Associated with educational opportunities and differences in occupation.
  • The corporate level: Associated with the particular culture of an organization. Applicable to those who are employed.

While these layers are helpful and applicable, I do believe that they are rather minimalist and general. For example, in the increasingly pluralistic and inclusive society we live in today, many people do not identify themselves as purely male or female. Also, the layers mention nothing regarding family, friends, or geographic location. These categories, especially geographic location could play a larger role than the corporate level.

However, even with the flaws that this system may have, I do believe that it is an interesting and factual way to identify various cultures. One question that arose from the system of layers was, how should we use this system in our daily lives? For example, should we try and push ourselves to spend time with people from other groups on each layer? Do we already gravitate towards people of the same group? Should these groups define us at all? All questions for another day. Now onto the next source.

What are the limits on culture? (can a culture only include one person/is there a point where culture “ascends” and becomes part of human nature)

I found question three to be the most interesting of my questions while researching. My findings actually began in-class, while talking with the learner-teacher (his name is escaping me at the moment) about my topic. I talked to him about how I had been pondering the boundaries of culture and whether it was possible for a culture or an aspect of a culture to ascend to something greater… Essentially, to become part of human culture rather than a culture that humans had. I proposed to him the example of art, all human beings create some form of art, no matter where on the globe. This is unique to humans as no other animal would waste energy on something that doesn’t contribute directly to their survival. Is this an example of something that had become human nature? He found that very interesting and agreed and then posed me the question on whether something modern, such as Coca-Cola, will ever become human nature. This was difficult to answer as there are many facets to this. We talked about the increase in a “globalized world”  which would theoretically facilitate the spread of forms of culture, possibly resulting in the ascendance of something into “human culture”.

At the time, I hadn’t really done much research on the idea of something becoming human nature so we put our heads together and bounced ideas back and forth off of each other to try and come up with some boundaries on something becoming human culture. First of all, it must be shared by all of humanity, not 95%, not 99%, but 100% of humanity would need to partake in whatever it is for “it” to be part of human culture.  Next, it would have to be something that every human perceived as their own and is directly part of them. This is important because facets of other cultures can be adapted into different cultures but, they are not truly part of the receiving culture until they identify them as so. A somewhat modern example of this can be found with the rise of sushi restaurants in Vancouver. Sushi itself is a strong part of Japanese culture and definitively not a part of Vancouver culture; however, in the future, perhaps sushi will insert itself as a strong part of Vancouver culture.

Next, it would have to be something that every human perceived as their own and is directly part of them. This is important because facets of other cultures can be adapted into different cultures but, they are not truly part of the receiving culture until they identify them as so. A somewhat modern example of this can be found with the rise of sushi restaurants in Vancouver. Sushi itself is a strong part of Japanese culture and definitively not a part of Vancouver culture; however, in the future, perhaps sushi will insert itself as a strong part of Vancouver culture. Now, an important distinction has to be made when talking about identifying things as part of a culture. Oftentimes, aspects of a culture can be stolen and identified as one’s own, this is unacceptable and is not truly one’s own. This brings up a whole other aspect of this debate regarding human rights which I won’t be touching on today.

After discussing the possibility of something “ascending culture” with the learner-teacher, I went home and researched whether this was actually a valid “thing” and sure enough it was. As Dennis O’Neil said:

Cultural universals are learned behavior patterns that are shared by all of humanity collectively.  No matter where people live in the world, they share these universal traits.  Examples of such “human cultural” traits include:

  1. communicating with a verbal language consisting of a limited set of sounds and grammatical rules for constructing sentences
  2. using age and gender to classify people (e.g., teenager, senior citizen, woman, man)
  3. classifying people based on marriage and descent relationships and having kinship terms to refer to
    them (e.g., wife, mother, uncle, cousin)
  4. raising children in some sort of family setting
  5. having a sexual division of labor (e.g., men’s work versus women’s work)
  6. having a concept of privacy
  7. distinguishing between good and bad behavior
  8. having some sort of body ornamentation
  9. making jokes and playing games
  10. having art
  11. having some sort of leadership roles for the implementation of community decisions”

After researching my theory of “cultural ascension”, I was very happy to find other sources that agreed and had done research into the same thing. Yet after all this, I hadn’t answered the first part of my question. In short, a culture can be as small as one person due to the fact that one person can partake in all aspects of the things that define a culture (see above). This raises the question as to whether everyone has their own personal culture based on the fact that everyone lives out their lives differently. Again, due to the fact that I’m at 1700 words and counting, that’ll be for another day.

In summary of question two, a culture can be as big as the entire human race and as small as one person. If you want to know why, read above.

Is culture a purely “human” creation? (Can non-self aware creatures be part of a/multiple cultures?)

Finally, onto my final question. This one was also mentioned by Dennis O’Neil. According to him: there is a difference of opinion in the behavioral sciences about whether or not we are the only animal that creates and uses culture.  The answer to this question depends on how narrow culture is defined.  If it is used broadly to refer to a complex of learned behavior patterns, then it is clear that we are not alone in creating and using culture.  Many other animal species teach their young what they themselves learned in order to survive. 

Whether or not other animals have culture depends on how you identify culture. Based on the rather firm guidelines I set above, they would not meet most of them. Animals do not have a religion, for example; however, if you are applying the guidelines of culture rather loosely, great apes do teach their young how to use tools and many pack animals learn strategies to work together but is that culture? As always, it’s up to the interpreter to decide.



Setting off on this project, I knew that I was sending myself down a long windy road with more questions than answers along the way. Honestly, I loved it. Looking into these kind of things and posing crazy thought inducing questions is just what I enjoy about socials so this was perfect for me. Could I have summarized in a neater, more legible package? Probably. Is all the information on this page useful and interesting? I think so and I hope you do too.

In an effort to clarify this messy paper, I’ll try to summarize the answers to each of my questions as quickly as possible below.

  1. “Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.” (1, 1-2) Choudhury. All these are aspects of culture but a culture does not need all of these aspects.
  2. There are many cultural layers, each of which everyone fits into some way. We can and are part of a multitude of cultures but they all don’t have to apply to us with the same strength.
  3. Woo here’s the big one. Culture’s can be as big as the entire human race and as small as one person. Cultural ascendance applies to when something becomes bigger than culture and “ascends” to a part of humanity itself. Confusing? Read above. Still confusing? Yeah, I agree.
  4. Depending on who you ask and how you identify culture, it can apply to many or no “non-human” animals.

Wow, what would I still like to know? Well… In this blog, I wrote down a lot of questions that came to mind based on what I was writing or thinking about. I think that you can never truly know everything about this subject as in the end, it comes down to opinion and how you view the world. Which, coincidentally, is highly affected by aspects of your culture ;). I’d love to spend many more days researching these kinds of questions and coming up with more of them to research which would bring up more questions which…

Why is this important? Well, culture is such an integral part of us as human beings and creating an effort to understand it can aid in many things. For example, if we understood culture and the importance of it, perhaps we wouldn’t have committed cultural genocide to an enormous number of Native Americans.





Written by Dennis O’Neil, helped with questions 3&4.


Written by Ifte Choudhury, helped with questions 1&2


In-Depth #2 First Shoot!

*Due to the fact that I haven’t secured a mentor yet, I will further address the questions designated for post #2 in post #3

*If you’d like to see the video I made at my first shoot click here


In-depth this year is progressing nicely. I’m feeling positive regarding the hopes of acquiring a mentor in the next few weeks, I’ve sketched out some ideas for my first film, and I’m even going out to film some shots this weekend!


Because my project involves working outside with technology, it is very weather dependant. The last two weeks have not had the friendliest of weather patterns and while I’m glad the snow is almost all washed away due to the rain, it meant I was unable to go out and shoot. We did have a few nicer days last week but, because of end-of-semester cramming, I had other priorities. Now however, the semester is over, the weather is semi-decent, and I’m excited to finally get out and film.


I will be filming clips tomorrow (Jan. 27th 2017) at Burke mountain with my friend (and fellow rider) Mattias. My goal for this preliminary shoot is to get enough clips to create a short three-minute film, and experiment with as many possible lighting, angle, and effect combinations so that I can begin to know what works when filming mountain biking. I won’t be using any fancy gear or shooting in world class locations but I do hope to produce something that looks half-decent.


As for the mentor situation, I have been in contact with my mountain bike coach from last year. Out of the three emails I sent out before the previous post, all were returned with no for an answer. After that, I was really stumped for where to look. My In-Depth is on quite a niche subject and didn’t quite know where to look. I thought of my coach, and sent him a text on Wednesday (yes, it could’ve been earlier but due to finals I let it hang). He responded the following day and we’ve been in conversation since. He has said he knows many world class cinematographers but has also pointed out that many of these people are very busy and would not have the time to mentor someone like me. After that, I asked whether he knew anybody who made mountain bike films on the side and perhaps would have more free time, he responded saying he did and that he would get back to me with some contacts. As it stands right now, I am positive about the prospects of getting a mentor relatively quickly.


My mountain bike coach, Mr. Stromgren, isn’t my mentor but I did interact with him during my project and so I can quickly touch on some of the aspects of “how to have a beautiful mind” we were supposed to cover in this blog post. I will still address them further in a later blog post after meeting with a mentor, but for now, this will have to do.


I approached Mr. Stromgren asking for the possibility of receiving some contacts regarding my In-Depth topic. We only talked briefly over text but there were situations where I agreed with him. After I introduced him to the topic and what I needed in a mentor, he suggested that we must be realistic with our expectations surrounding busy working professionals. I think this statement helped ground me in regard to the chances of getting a top class filmmaker to mentor me in this project.

Let the fun begin – In-Depth #1

I can affirmatively say that In-Depth last year was the highlight of my year. I spent five months learning how to mountain bike, something that I’d always wanted to do. My time spent working on my project felt very different from other schooling, I found that I was always in the mood to go mountain biking and never did it seem like something I “had” to do. I believe this was because of my choice of topic, mountain biking truly was something I had always wanted to do, long before I knew about the In-Depth project.


This year, I set myself a few goals when choosing a topic so that I could have as much success with my In-Depth project as I did last year. The first was, to make a choice without thinking of the end goal. I believe if I choose the topic based on the product, the experience won’t be the same. In-Depth night is far away; I’ll decide how I’m going to present my project when it draws closer. Secondly, to make a choice based on what I find interesting and fun, not on what others think, not on what I think will get me the best grade, but purely on what I think I will enjoy the most. I find that if I choose something that I find interesting, I will spend more time on it and in the end, get more out of the project.


After following my previously mentioned guidelines, I chose sports cinematography as my topic. As I said above, I chose mountain biking as my topic last year and decided to document it through video. I really enjoyed recording shots of myself and creating short “films” with the clips. This year, I’d like to expand on what I very briefly started to do last year and by the end of my project, be able to create short action videos of others mountain biking. I’d like to learn how to use different video effects such as slow motion, as well as basic cinematography effects such as different uses of lighting and angles. To see an example of a professionally made mountain biking film, click here.


The least successful part of my In-Depth project last year was my relationship with my mentor. I was not quick enough in finding a mentor and when I did, I didn’t meet up with him enough. After that, other circumstances seemed to get in the way of our frequent meetings. This year, I hope to improve that and have already reached out to three possible mentors. As of this moment, one has said he is unable to be a mentor due to the fact that he is moving to New Zealand and the other two have not emailed me back yet. One of my possible mentors is named Matt Dennison and runs a Vancouver-based YouTube channel specializing in mountain biking films as well as vlogs. If you’d like to visit his channel, click here (Please be aware some videos do contain coarse language). My other possible mentor is a Vancouver-based mountain bike photographer, Sterling Lorence has produced some amazing and well-known shots in the last ten years. I realize that photography and cinematography are quite different but I’m sure that many of the techniques overlap. (You can see Mr. Lorence’s website here) I would be very grateful to have either of these amazing producers as my mentor.


I have very high hopes for my In-Depth project this year, due to the fact that last years was such a huge success. However cheesy it may sound, my main goal for this year’s project is to have fun and not limit myself in any way. I believe that if I’m having fun, I will stay engaged and interested, and if I can stay engaged and interested, the project will be a success. I’m very excited to embark on this journey and I can bring you along with me. I’ll be posting bi-weekly on this blog, and you’ll be able to see any videos I create on my YouTube channel. Feel free to also check out some of my videos from last year.

Eminent 2016: Over and Out

“I’m really scared” “It’s ok man, you’re gonna kill it out there, once you’re on the stage… it just melts away”

“Ok, I trust you” *Does not trust at all and is still super scared*


“Dude that was awesome!! You were so good! Wasn’t I right about the feeling on stage?”



I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous leading up to my performance on stage. I stressed about it every night for a week leading up to the night. And I’m not going to lie, that was one of the best experiences of my life. It was all worth it for that minute on stage and the feeling of satisfaction and enormous pride after I came off having given it my all and presented a great speech.

The speech will definitely be the most memorable moment of my eminent project if not the year. I put a ton of work into that speech and I think I came out with a pretty solid result. One of my goals for my speech was to make a speech that was chock full of emotion, power, and meaning. It was something I struggled with last year and is something that I believe really makes or breaks a speech. I think that was my main success of my project.


Sadly, because I was so focused on making my speech as good as it possibly could be, my learning centre was a little neglected. I don’t think it was bad, I’d just say it paled compared to the other amazing learning centres.

My main focus for my learning centre was to recreate the setting of a hospital, to fit with my perspective. I did this by having two tables covered in a white sheet. On the tablesdsc_0133, I placed a vase with flowers, jello, a mock hospital bill, some cookies, a picture of Tommy Douglas’ “parents’ (it was actually my mom’s great grandparents) one of Tommy Douglas’ famous quotes, and a mock newspaper. I also had two old medical insurance ads taped on the lockers beside the tables.



I was a bit worried when I saw how elaborate and amazing everybody else’s learning centres were, but honestly, I think my lackluster learning centre may have paid off in the end. When people came to my station, they didn’t really look at my station, they talked to me. I had some great conversations with many different people and in the end, and I believe this was in large part because I was the main attraction of my learning centre, not some inanimate object. Most people generally left my station educated and interested in Tommy Douglas which was the main goal.


Overall, I think the night went fabulously. It couldn’t have gone any better. I’d like to thank all my fellow Talons for being so supportive, nice, and awesome people and congratulate all the grade 10’s on their superb speeches, we all did amazing. Thank you to the grade 9’s and the teachers for organizing such an amazing night. Good luck to all you next year, I know you’re gonna do amazing!



Praire Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story

This was a movie made by the CBC on the achievements and struggles of Tommy Douglas. This was my most used sources, it helped provide me with basic info on both Tommy Douglas and Canada in the 1920’s-70s. This movie was also critical to both my speech and my in-character learning centre as it helped me understand Tommy Douglas as a person, not just a list of achievements and facts. One of my main goals for my speech was to put emotion into my character and this documentary/movie helped me understand Tommy Douglas’ viewpoint on many issues which helped me choose an angle for my speech. I used a similar documentary/movie last year for my eminent project. I believe they were both made by the CBC.


Tommy Douglas By: Vincent Lam

This book helped me prepare for my learning centre by painting a detailed picture of the life of Tommy Douglas. I was definitely thankful for it when I was in-character and people were asking me questions I never would’ve been able to answer without reading this book.


History Idol: Tommy Douglas

This was one of the first things I read on Tommy Douglas after I had decided to research him for my project, it provided a brief summary of his life which was helpful for initial information.


Tommy Douglas – Historica Canada

This article helped me learn a bit more about Tommy Douglas’ political life. Specifically, I learned about the CCF  (something I didn’t even know existed before this project) and the early NDP (which Tommy Douglas helped form).


Tommy – Economy and Society

When I first skimmed over this article, I actually didn’t find it that impressive. However, after reading it in-depth while searching for a speech perspective, I found out that Tommy Douglas had been hospitalized as a child for a bone infection. This was why Tommy Douglas fought so hard for universal healthcare. I had finally found my perspective for my speech!


Tommy Douglas – CBC

Another short(ish) summary of Tommy Douglas’ life. It didn’t provide me with any new information, just helped me check all the rest as I knew that CBC was a reliable source.



Tommy Douglas’ most famous speech. This was the first thing I heard about Tommy Douglas, and the reason I decided to start studying him.


There you have it, everything that helped me with my eminent project. I found that the most helpful by far was the documentary. At the beginning of the project, I struggled making connections with Tommy Douglas but that movie did an amazing job of showcasing him as a human, which helped me a ton. I found that there were not that many useful webpages, just a lot of the same boring, historical summaries which weren’t that helpful.

Final Speech – Doc of Learning #2

Here is my final speech, the way I spoke it on stage.


Dear Mom and Dad,

My reality has descended into a trance. The world is always spinning and the fire inside my leg rages constantly. There are few things that I am certain of these days, but one thing I know for sure is that no one should have to experience what I have this last week. My bed is my prison and my only escape comes from talking with the doctors. [pause] My amputation is set for next Thursday. I wish you could be here. Not much can bring me happiness these days. The surrounding patients are much the same as me, and some days their screams are so loud I feel like I am in an asylum. I’ve always thought that hospitals were a happy place, one where you were the priority and doctors were forces of good, working not for money, but because they want to help. [sigh] I can tell you, in this place, that could not be further from the truth. In this place, money is a drug, and the wrong people are addicted. If, no, when I get out of here, I will dedicate my life to fighting for the helpless. Fighting for people who never had a voice. People who lost everything to the system. When I get out of here, change won’t be just a dream.  


Tommy Douglas