My Grade 10 English Reflection(original post?)

I decided to try something new. For this post I’ll be doing an audio recording as my podcast. Just press the button and listen!

 

So I really did enjoy this year. It was a good experience for me and I had a lot of fun doing it! By the way, this was about my fifth attempt at doing a voice recording so I was extra relaxed? Bored? Had my fill? I was still truthful in the words I said none the less 🙂

P.S. I have no idea why it turned into a video. I’d prefer it just to be the audio minus the big black screen. Help welcomed!

Introducing Official English Class Badges!

Say hello to some hot-off-the-hard-drive badges for Mr. Puley’s class!

Shakespear badge 9 blur     Shakespear badge 10 blur     Shakespear badge 11 blur     Shakespear badge 12 blur     Shakespear badge 12+1 blur

These are what I hope to be badges for completing the grade 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13(victory lap) English curriculum!

I originally wanted to create some badges during the beginning of the year though I had no idea of what to make the badges for(plus my skills on Gimp, a free image editing software were rather rusty).

The the thought behind these were medals, signifying the completion of the course. So, as you go further it’s like getting 3rd, 2nd, 1st place, etc… Improving with each grade!

Shakespeare came into mind simply because his work was such a large focus on our course with the play Romeo and Juliet with the other class’ study on Macbeth Shakespeare was the obvious choice for the design of the medal or badge.

English Thoughts

This image made after our teacher Mr. Puley asked our class “what defines English?” near the beginning of the year. As you can see, along with a few other points Shakespeare dominated the board(bigger words = more votes).   [1]

So what do ya think? I’ll probably be creating more badges in the future. If you have any ideas for badge that you don’t want to run with I’ll be happy to create a design(sharing the credit, of course). Hasta la vista!

Images

[1] Puley, Aaron. Mind Map Thought Bubble. 2015. Web. 3 June 2015.

Humans, the Economy and a Whole Lot of Inquiring

From Multi-billion dollar corporations to your neighbour’s garage sale, the Earth’s economy is all around us. From the chair you sit in, the energy that powers your computer, and the clothes you wear are all tethered to the web that is the global economy that runs the world as we know it.

But the questions must be begged, What even is economy? Where did it come from? Is it a good thing? Why should I care? Yep, the economy is a hot-mess but it’s ours, and there happens to be a great deal going in with it. So  grab your thinking caps and get your eyes massaged because you’re about to learn!

Just a fair warning, I won’t be delving too much into the details and numbers of economics but  rather its effects on humanity. So not so much the(in my opinion) dry history of the economy, but more so the tasty-brain food of interest!

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So what does the word “Economy” really mean? 

There are several definitions, but this one by Dictionary.com  sums up the idea pretty well.

The management of the resources of a community, country, etc.,especially with a view to its productivity.”[1]

So essentially to trade and manage the stuff you have. Be it in your family, city, area, planet, etc. and how to make more!
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Where did come from?

So where did it all begin? Where did such a HUGE system come from?

Well, it’s turns out to be a much broader question than one might think.

The economy has always been around. From the moment a humans traded a rock for a stick was the true birth of economy. Trading is where it all began.

The concept of trading a rock for a stick of course became much bigger as time progressed. Dawning civilizations from 5000 BCE to 1000 CD such as Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Persia, and Ancient China[2][3] is where the world trade really began with products such as metals, jewels, spices, and so on. As you could imagine the rare and useful products are always wanted, really the idea of supply-and-demand. The silk road, a series of routes that connected these large civilizations during 200 CE[4] was also a huge economic development, that really encouraged world trade.

This video goes pretty in-depth into the history of the silk road.

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Is it a good thing or bad?

To me, there’s a good and bad side to everything. But the economy(one that focuses on maximum profit that is) may be my only exception.

Of course one can pick and choose everything debatable wrong/right with the economy but I’ll be talking about two things in general. So here’s number one to kick it off.

1: It’s hurting our Planet

Yep, we’re chopping down trees, digging up land, and hunting animals. All to get that wonderful money. Take a look at this video to see how harvesting oil impacts the environment.

The economy hurts the Earth but people still need to pay their bills. It doesn’t just have negative impacts on the dirt under our feet but also people too. Number two shows a reason why.

2: It encourages privilege of placement

And what do I mean by “Privilege of placement”?

In the view of economic wealth, the privilege(pretty much luck) of being born in a country that simply has more. More money, food, more advanced technology, more education, and of course more excess.

excess-sugar-intake

It’s quite stunning. In terms of excess, 30% of the US food, approximately 48 billion worth is simply thrown away. Every single year. Don’t think Canada is any better either. On average, A single family living in Toronto waste about 275 kg(606 lbs) of food annually. While the US average is only about 215 kg(474 lbs) annually[5].

If I were a starving individual in an undeveloped country I wouldn’t dream of throwing away 600 pounds worth of food. Though every little bit of food you and I don’t eat isn’t helping improve any statistics.

Amazingly, with all this excess there’s still starvation in Canada. All thanks to your friendly neighbourhood economy.

Of course the economy also gives the world the opportunity to mass produce things like phones, computers, and other technologies. These technologies in turn make the world a smaller place by being able to talk people across the planet within milliseconds by the use of phones and the internet. And also makes things like travel a heck of a lot easier with cars, planes, and of course segways being able to transport people and goods in no time at all.

Unfortunately there is a cost to this technology. Take coltan for instance.

Coltan(short for columbite-tantalite) is an alloy used in a myriad of devices from laptops to jet engines. This alloy is found almost exclusively in the country of Republic of the Congo. In short, people in the Congo need money. Coltan is worth a lot of money. People in the Congo fight for the land Coltan is located. Like war fight[6]. Similar to blood diamonds in Africa. Blood was shed to get this stuff to make your phones and laptops.

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Why Should I care?

Of course morally this is an issue, people are dying for the things you use to watch YouTube on. Also the only home we have is consideration too, planet Earth that is. Oh and the corporations with all the money control 90% of what we watch, read, and listen to[7] . But really, as a person reading text behind a screen what does it matter?

Even as the author of this post I don’t even care about this economics stuff much myself.

Yep. You know why? Things change. The worse things are the faster things change. Not too long ago most of the world didn’t consider women equal. North America didn’t treat black people equal. There was a time when Germany and Russia slaughtered millions of people.

So you truly don’t need to care. Do what you believe is right. Things change. Change is good!

A man by the name of Paul Hawken has observed what he calls the “unnamed revolution”. This movement is a global scale social, political, and environmental movement that is going on as we speak! The video below goes into more detail about this subject.

So you can embrace, ignore, or deny what’s happening around us but change is always going on. However this “unnamed revolution looks like a pretty good thing to me!

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To sum up

The economy is quite the system. It’s as old as you could imagine but it still hold many flaws. The economy has so much and so little to give for those who maintain it and is more a little awkward to handle. However humans are nothing if not persistent. Well learn to streamline the economy in a way that both benefits people and the planet it runs on. Indeed, the economy is a hot-mess but it’s ours. And there happens to be a great deal going on with it.

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The After-Party

Welcome! So what did ya think of this here blog? I invite you to stay and chat. Chips and pop are in the corner if you’d like some and the bathroom is down the hall. If you’re staying I’ve got some interesting questions for you while you’re here. I’ve got about  three paragraphs worth of unused stuff. So you know I‘ll have be meaty questions to talk about. No need to answer them all either(or any of them for that matter). Aint no body got time for that! So without further ado, what in the name of all that is arguably good do you think?

First world countries such as Canada, US,  Australia,  Japan, and UK  are very well developed . Do they deserve it? As stated previously, there is still starvation in these countries. Should children be the ones starving just because their families can’t afford it? Should honest adults also starve simply because they can’t afford food?

Not interested? Try these questions.

Do you think this economic system will last? Do you think mankind will deplete all the fossil fuels that power our cars and factories until it runs out? Why or why not?

Who do you believe runs the economy? Is it you the consumer, the investors and entrepreneurs or the governments of the world? Is it all three, one or two or something else? Do you think they share equal roles? How much do you think morals affect one(or more) of these groups economic decisions?

Could the creation of a global economy have ever been avoided? Why do you think so? Could humans thrive in technological advances without an economy?

Do you care about the economy? Put your self in the shoes of someone working in a sweatshop or forced into child labour. If given the choice, would you still like to be underpaid and overworked in horrible conditions to keep the global economy going?

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Final Remarks

So thanks for reading. Whether you were forced to read or you’re just a passerby I hope it gave you a full serving of brain food and new perspectives to consider. If you’re still hungry I also recommend checking out our learning community on my classroom’s website. It loaded with blogs that have fresh opinions and new ideas that’ll really get your brain thinking. Click a name and find out! I’ll leave this fine quote from a fellow named Adam Smith to let you know one way I think the economy could be changed. I’ll leave it up to you to ask me how I feel about the rest!

Adam Smith

Smith, Adam, and Knud Haakonssen. The Theory Of Moral Sentiments. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.

References

[1] Dictionary.com,. ‘The Definition Of Economy’. N.p., 2015. Web. 22 May 2015.

[2] Highered.mheducation.com,. ‘Beginnings And Early Civilizations (10,000–1000 BCE)’. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 May 2015.

[3] Deering, Mary. ‘Persian Empire: History, Culture & Timeline | Study.Com’. Study.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 May 2015.

[4] Travelchinaguide.com,. ‘History Of China Silk Road: Development, Significance, Travelers’. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 May 2015.

[5] David Suzuki Foundation,. ‘Help End Food Waste’. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 May 2015.

[6] Cox, Stan. ‘War, Murder, Rape… All For Your Cell Phone’. Alternet. N.p., 2006. Web. 27 May 2015.

[7] Lutz, Ashley. ‘These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America’. Business Insider. N.p., 2012. Web. 28 May 2015. 

Images

Chalkboard Economy. 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.

Question Mark. 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.

Lots Of Food. 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.

Coltan Rock. 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.

The Spectator,. Feigning Surprise At A Surprise Party. 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.

Meditation Exercise #1

bigstock-summer-landscape-with-green-gr-15348293

I felt I need some original blog posts, and this popped into my head!

The goal of these little tidbits are to provide in descriptive and vivid scenes(following no particular structure) that are meant to relax and stretch one’s imagination. The more visualization the better! Anyways, now to the story! read or listen to your heart’s content!

Of course I’ll be providing the(unrefined) audio for this exercise! If your listening to the audio, I recommend closing your eyes, relaxing, and listening.

Apologies for the annoying static in the background, my iPad doesn’t really record the best audio…. I’ll try to improve my audio recordings with some better tech in the future. I’ll be sure to guide the end by a little breathing to to end off the recording next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Give From The Heart, Not The Store.

Malls are over-crowded, roads are filled to the brim, your friends and family are acting especially suspicious, and you haven’t even begun to think of what to give. The gift giving season can be a rough time, filled with stresses and strains to make mind race. But why do some feel this way? Why are days such as Christmas, Valentine’s day, or even Father’s or Mother’s day filled with so much tension? Why is the act of giving so stressful? With these questions in mind, I will delve into the problems with gift giving, and what I feel should be done.

Stop giving gifts.

Yep, just stop giving gifts. More specifically, stop giving gifts on holidays.

Am I saying stop celebrating holidays or giving gifts in general? No, not at all. All that I’m trying to communicate is that give gifts all you want but never feel pressured to give something to someone simply because it’s Christmas, Valentine’s day, or any holiday. Don’t let the gift you gave them show your appreciation of another, let your act of getting it and thinking of them represent your feelings of them. How does one show their love/appreciation to another? By showing them, be it a letter, something crafted by hand, or a poem, these are all ways to show that you care about them and that’s a truly wonderful thing. So why do so many have stresses about the gift giving holidays?

I feel It’s because we have holidays.

For example, you forgot it was your friend’s birthday and you’re wanting to get them a gift, but oh fiddle sticks you have no idea what to get them. So you go to the nearest dollar store and get them a card, sign it and throw a 20 dollar bill into it, done. You give it to them and they say thanks. Well, made it until next year right? In this scenario, the act of giving a token of appreciation has become business more than anything.

I find many people show their appreciation through material things, an iPhone, candy, clothing, and especially money. These things really can show your gratitude to another but when you get someone a gift for the sake of it being Christmas, for the sake of being your friend’s birthday, for the sake of someone’s graduation, where’s the emotion? Don’t you think saying “I’m proud of you” or “I think you’re a great person” or even the daring “I love you” is enough of a gift?

How does it feel when someone takes the moment to honestly say this to you?

It’s the pressure of getting someone a gift on holidays, to prove that your care. That’s what I mean when I say people stress because we have holidays. I feel that you should be able to give a gift whenever you feel like it, not give gifts on days everyone just agreed upon, to give as you please when it means something special.