A finale of in depth

So here we have it, it’s finally the end of in depth. It sure crept up on us quickly this year.
So for my ‘presentation of learning’ this year, I am going to have a table set up (preferably near the entrance to the cafeteria so people can stop by on their way in) where I can do some tricks. I won’t have a display board or anything, I’ll be doing my tricks for everyone out in the open with just the help of a few props (which I can bring myself). I’m hoping to draw people in before the performances start and (depending on how the evening is set up) afterwards as well. It’s really not a complicated set up, just one of the grey tables, no electronics, and no presentation. It should take almost no time to set up.
Just writing about the night is giving me goosebumps! I can’t wait! 🙂

That’s some bad hat, Harry

“That’s some bad hat, Harry.” That is my favourite quote from the entire movie. It might seem stupid, or unimportant, or just a plain old piece of comedic relief…but I love it. There’s even a reason that Brody’s pissed at Harry and says something hurtful about his hat: Harry was swimming and his hat started showing behind a girl, and Brody freaked out by thinking that it was a shark fin. He was really just looking for anything out of the ordinary, and the hat caught him off guard. Then when Harry makes a snide comment about Brody’s fear of water, Brody gets pissed and insults his hat (which Harry takes quite seriously).

But that’s not why I love the quote! I love it for a totally unrelated reason. The production company which makes the TV show House is called some bad hat harry productions. I used to watch the show every Monday with one of my good friends, and we would always wait the extra five minutes after the show ended to sit through the advertisements and credits so that we could hear the line.

When we started our novel study and I picked Jaws, I knew that the line was from the movie and that when I watched the movie I would be able to see it. It made me so happy and really excited to be able to see the original. It really made me remember the times that my friend and I spent together bonding over that show.
So yeah, the reason I love the quote so much really has a very small part to do with the movie, but more of a memory. But come on, how can you not love that line? AND Harry’s hat 😛

The darkest tunnels have the brightest lights

The dark. Death. Spiders. Public speaking. Swimming. Heights. Closed spaces. Mice.

Fears: we all have them. We may try to hide them, and we may try to ignore them, but the truth of the matter is that they exist and they always will. They may sometimes seem like a never ending tunnel to push through, an enclosing space of darkness and doom, but every tunnel, no matter how long, has an end. Brody’s fear is water. He’s absolutely terrified, and doesn’t want anything to do with it. But when the shark nearly kills his son, things change. Love, and people we love, drive us to do great things. They ignite a fire within our souls that pushes us past our limits. That fire is better than a surge of adrenaline. Some people write off love all together because it causes to much pain and heart ache, but love is really what can get you up in the morning and allow you to fly to heights you didn’t deem possible. Brody did what he did because he cared more about the safety of his son than his own mental stability. He probably awoke the morning of the hunt with a knot of dread in his stomach. A churning feeling close to nausea. But with nerves of steel and the determination of a soldier, he set out with his team to kill the shark once and for all. Once on the boat he’s staring off into the water, wishing he were anywhere but there. All of a sudden, without even the warning of music, the shark appears. Brody is completely terrified; petrified by fear. But somehow he’s able to work through it all, and in some very dramatic screenplay, he eventually gets the shark to explode.

Love and fear pushed him. Sometimes fear can be a hindrance and just get in the way of anything getting done, but if you mix it with something to push towards, a goal of sorts, it becomes manageable. It even becomes possible that the fear can work in your favor. Brody was so scared of losing his son, and he just had such a dire need to protect him from any harm, he was able to think quickly and react to the situation. Obviously it worked out in the end, and there was a pleasant happily ever after.

Everyone has their own dark tunnel to face. In life, you don’t have the option of turning back, all you can do is push forward and try to find the light that’s desperately trying to break through. Whether you choose to enter the next tunnel is up to you.

Jaws Fear

I was thinking about the movie Jaws this afternoon, and I was trying to figure out what I would write as a blog post. You probably know that I’m not the biggest fan of typical novel study work, like character analogies, theme statements, or chapter summaries. So I decided to take Mr. Jackson’s advice and make something of my own based on what emotions the movie invoked in me. I photographed what fear is to me, and then I wrote a poem with all my thoughts.

fear

I’m not afraid
of falling; landing face down
and scraping my face on cement
or falling down and tasting mud
and having to crawl, crawl, until I find
a way back up.

I’m just afraid
that I’ll never fly.

Sometimes I worry
‘what if I break?’ and
‘what if no one can put me back
together?’ and ‘what if
there’s no fixing broken people?’

And then I worry
‘what if I’m already broken?’
And it scares me.
It scares me.

Sometimes, I’ll look
inside myself. Sometimes, I never
see anything. And I want to grab a shovel
and scrape, scrape, scrape at
the top layers and maybe there’s something
underneath, maybe it’s not
hollow inside, but I’m so afraid
that it might be. That maybe
I’m just
empty.

What if there’s no filling lifeless
girls?

The walls of my mind are dark,
lined with sorrows and I lose myself
in my thoughts. I’m lost within
myself and maybe there’s no way
out. I’m trapped,
I think. This thought leaves me
exhausted, at the bottom of a hole
with no will to get out.

I’m tired. I’m so
tired. and I worry that I’ll be stuck
tired, forever.

I can hear them crying.
I can hear the screams and
the thunder is crashing, violently, and
I’m shaking and I’m clawing and ripping
at my covers, because I want out.
But it’s cold out there and I’m shaking
and I can hear them crying.

I only want them to go away.
Just go away.

But the fear of falling’s not so bad, after you’ve gone and fell.
And the fear of dying’s not so bad, when inside you already have.

I’m not afraid.

Do you believe in magic?

So I’ve come to the realization that our in depth projects are coming closer and closer to the end. It won’t be long before we’re surrounded by hundred of people that we both know and don’t that will all be applauding for us. It’s time to start polishing up your skills and get ready to showcase them.

So this week I’ve been working on a different kind of trick. I don’t know how good I am at it yet though, so I’ll have to keep practicing. It’s a prediction trick. An audience member gets to shuffle the deck as much as they want, and then they place 3 cards on to the table face up. From there I’m supposed to be able to guess the next card to hit the pile. I’ve been asking my mentor for some help with this trick, but I’ve been having a few issues. He’s a huge help, and with a bit more practise I might be able to do it. I’ve also been working on a few different ways to reveal a card, like palming and having them come up in strange places, finding a person’s card in a different deck as well as their own, and even pulling it out from behind their ear. That also needs a bit of practice, but soon enough I’ll be an honest to goodness magician!

And later on today I will be stopping by Value Village to grab a top hat, and then my magician’s ensemble will be nearly complete. That’s all for this week, see you again soon!

I don’t believe in theme statements

When elementary school students hear the words “theme statement” they all groan and complain to the people sitting next to them. Even children in early grades know what it means: another chance for them to write an essay on a beat to death metaphor that will make the teachers put a checkmark beside their names in the comprehension category. It doesn’t matter what the story they’re reading is about, the themes all end up being some kind of moral that the children should learn. Or at least that’s what the teachers have identified the theme as. If you try to give them anything but a cliché, they’ll give you a bad grade and have another class discussion about what themes are. Barely any teachers ever decide to mention that books can have infinite themes. Books are ever changing creatures that shift forms under the eyes of different readers. A well written book is universal, and touches all people in different ways and on different levels.
I’ve always had problems with theme statements, because if a book means anything to me then anything less than what it is wouldn’t do the book justice. The whole is greater than the sum of all parts. If I try to make a message, or pick a quote, or even just try to explain what the book is about it never ends up being as good. To me, if I really want to convey a proper personal theme statement, I can’t do so with any fewer words than the book itself used. Not if I want to do the book justice, that is.
So whether it be the Tortoise and the Hare, Harry Potter, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or Jaws, there’s no way to sum up the way the story speaks to me. To me the theme statement is the art itself. And I think that deserves a comprehension check.

My Choice

It’s that time of year again! Yes that’s right, we’re doing novel studies! But this year we seem to be doing something a little bit special, and a little bit different. We had the option between books, musical albums, or movies! There were a lot of great options and it was really hard to choose, but I ended up with a classic: Jaws. I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about this movie over the years, but I’ve just never gotten around to watching it. So when I heard that it was on the list of options, I practically jumped on it! Not only will it be an awesome movie to watch, but it will be a totally different kind of novel study this year. I think it will be a cool experience to have something visual, instead of a story with a picture in your mind. Well that’s pretty much why I picked it, and I’m super excited to be starting this project! It’s going to be awesome!

In depth :)

Unfortunately I made a startling discovery this afternoon when I realised that the blog I thought was due this week, was actually due last week. I started freaking out and I’m really sorry that I’m a bit late, but here it is:

I don’t actually have anything particularly exciting to report. I’ve just been doing maintenance on some of my older tricks, and continual practicing on the others. School and life have just been really hectic, and you’ll probably see me wandering around looking a little frazzled. One thing that I was thinking of doing was volunteer work in relation to my in depth. I went around to one of the toy stores in the mall and asked if they would allow me to do some magic tricks at their entrance, just to amuse kids and draw them in. Well the lady who owned the store happened to be a fan of magic, so she asked to see some tricks and she was impressed. I figured I may as well do it, it would be a chance to get some practise in, as well as dealing with an audience. I’m thinking of going sometime after school or on the weekend someday. I’m really excited to see how kids like my tricks.

Until next time! 🙂

Question of Inquiry

My question was about how the other native groups felt when Louis Riel was hung. I was able to find a few primary sources (though it was a lot to skim through, because there was over 2000 pages in one of the articles). There was quite a bit of information and evidence to show a lot of tension between the Metis and other native groups. The Metis are just one group of natives living in Canada, but what makes them noticeably different than the others is that they’re half French. Many natives around them didn’t connect as well, or even feel like they were on the same side of a war against colonists all because of the fact that they were French. They saw them as some kind of dirty half breed; sprouting mainly from whores that wandered into the beds of colonists.

When Riel started fighting for land that the Metis deserved, the other native groups really didn’t care. The only thing they particularly cared about was that relations with the colonizing government were starting to become strained. The governments didn’t give any indication that they knew a difference between native groups, or that they would treat other native groups any differently from a group that they were at war with. The government was beyond ignorant.

When Riel was showing signs of being closer to winning his cause, or creating a compromise that would benefit it, the other native groups in the area were pretty calm. It could be considered a turning point if a compromise could be made with the white leaders, but it really would not provide any direct benefit to them. Besides, the Metis were an abomination, and their way of life should not be nurtured. So when Louis Riel was hung, many of the other native groups were very happy. One less Metis in the world. There was a lot of tension between the Metis and other groups, mainly because of their blood. When harm befell the Metis other groups rejoiced. When success presented itself to them, the other groups were not always so friendly.

In one night and a day I’ve found quite a bit of information, but by Friday I hope to have found out more 🙂

A little bit of magic never hurts

Take the aces, the kings, the queens and the jacks out of a deck and arrange them on the table. Put them all into a pile and shuffle them as many times as you like. Deal them back out in four columns and all the suits will be together. Sound impossible? It’s not! Find a card in a deck by quickly flicking through (without looking) and having one spin out into the lap of the audience. Impossible? As if! Ask a member of the audience to grab a card from the deck, then shuffle another deck, and pull out a card at random. Would it be impossible for the cards to be identicle?

These past few weeks I’ve been hard at work to learn new tricks. Finding cards in the deck has become almost second nature to me, I can even do it in the dark. But the more complex tricks are giving me a few issues. My mentor has been really helpful with tips and tricks, and he’s suggested a lot of helpful websites for me to follow up on. One particular trick that’s really been giving me hell is vanishing. My hands just aren’t moving fast enough. I need to get better at palming things as well. After that vanishing shouldn’t be too bad. As long as my acting skills keep up to the standards of magicians, I’ll be absolutely fine.

This coming week I think I’ll work on making things appear out of nowhere. Which reminds me, I need to acquire a top hat 🙂